Can music video help celebrities build up own public persona?


Based on the analysis of music video from Railton and Watson:

‘image deemed valuable in promoting a broader range of possibilities, opportunities and capabilities for women’ (Railton and Watson 2011:19)

Music video not only for celebrities to promotion as a marketing tool, through this new form of sound-image relationship, it also can facilitate celebrities to achieve own purpose or build up the new public persona.

There is a big controversy about gender and sexuality happened in Miley Cyrus’s career when she released the song “Wreaking ball” on August in 2015. In the music video, she presented her feminine body but in a masculine way to express her power. Using the masculine symbols of the sledgehammer and wrecking ball, calling herself as the wrecking ball, which are stands for the power and dominance. It has reflected by the music video, by the image and the powerful chest voice in the chorus. In this perspective, Cyrus presented a strong but not fragile woman, emotional energy flows throughout the music combine with the image, reveal the allure of music video (Vernallis, 2013). In other words, the music video carries the masculinity and emotionally in a powerful way, from the image of the music video, it accurately presents her emotional feelings and the masculine acts, holding the hammer breaking the walls and so on. However, on the other hand, It cannot deny that some parts like her female nudity are put women as the objects of man, such as she is licking the sledgehammer. But it can see that Cyrus broke the stereotype of the traditional pop female singer in a way, which is submissive and as the object of the male.

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 23.15.25.pngMore importantly, by using technology to construct the wall that she wants to destroy it, which is use the software such as Cinema 4D to build up the virtual environment that Cyrus is in. Technology in the music video is major power to build up the image of the celebrity wants to, finally combine the sound and image to achieve the concepts of the music video.

Jing  Ding


Carol Vernallis (2013), “Music Video’s Second Aesthetic” in: Unruly Media, New York: Oxford University Press, 207-233.

Kruse, Holly (1993). “Subcultural identity in alternative music culture.” Popular music12.01 : 33-41.


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