Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Shock Value

This morning while checking facebook a classmate from high school began a conversation on Erykah Badu's new video. I might be one of the few people who don't like the video. I am not against the message it is trying to portray, but the way the video was filmed. This got me to thinking (which most things do) about the idea of "shock value."

A lot of time people do things for shock value to get a message across, but a lot of times the message is lost. A couple of weeks ago a lady spoke at my church and gave her testimony which was awesome and she even wrote a book about it...problem was people were shocked that she stayed in a marriage where her husband said he was bisexual and contracted AIDS and she stuck with him through thick and thin.  People were fascinated by events in her story, but did people really learn from her faith and what she learned from her experience.

Same thing for the new Erykah Badu video.  If Gabby Sidibe from "Precious" had done the same thing in the video would it have been accepted the same way?  Will people remember the video for her being able to be free and who she is or will it be remembered for the fact that she got naked and has a nice body?  Hearing more commentary on the"Window Seat" video has helped me understand it a little better (was totally lost at first I will admit) what the video was about, but do most people listen or read commentaries on videos?

Just my thoughts. Sometimes I think shock value has no value. People remember the shock, but not the message. That is all.


Anna Renee said...

Hi Sister! Sometimes, shock is valuable. We may not get it immediately, but the seed was sown. Erykahs video has different meaning for different people. For some it reveals their own groupthink, they are afraid of what somebody else will think. For others, it's liberating--we black women dont have to fear what others will think, because they will think what they will. For men, it was a revelation of a beautiful black woman, with a black womans body that wasnt on display for a sexual reason. Some sisters feel she needs some work in the gym.
Gabby Sidibe was shocking to us because some feel that a black woman who "looks like her" ought not have the nerve to hold her head up and have a bubbly personality. That was the shock for some. So both situations are liberating for black women. We can be ourselves just as we are EVEN in the face of those who tell us that we dont add up.
To answer your question, I think Erykah's video will be remembered for BOTH reasons--she's free and she got naked--neither of which has to be wrong.

LoVe.Peace.Curls. said...

I completely see your point... before I'd even watched the video, I'd been seeing all types of FB statuses talking about how people "didn't know she had an a** like that" and such...and when I watched the vid, I didn't really pay attention to all that, because I mean I'm not really into vids anyway. The song has a great message, but unfortunately so many won't realize it unless they hear it minus the video.