The Feminist Media Reader #21 - Photoshopping, Music Videos and 'M.I.L.F $'

by - Thursday, August 11, 2016




Thirteen years ago this month, a common trip to the ice cream parlour  - and pop music - was changed forever.  That's right - Kelis released Milkshake, the chart-humping, sleazy RnB banger that made it's way into every clubnight and remained there ever since, still spawning slogan tees and memes to this day.

But enough reminiscing about how my ten year-old self preferred to sing the Pokemon-version instead of the confusing inneundo - it's clear that Milkshake's legacy has come reincarnate in the form of the new Fergie video - 'M.I.L.F'.  The less said about the music the better, but stylistically it's a delight - pops of pastel colour, figure-hugging lurex, sumptious set design... it's a bastardized Edwards Scissorhands meets Jeremy Scott street taken over my glamourous mega-mamas, ranging from Chrissie Teigan and Kim Kardashian to Ciara and Fergie herself. 




So let's talk about the problematic term that is MILF - Mum I'd Like To, well, we all know the last part. The assertation that it should be such a suprise that a mother could still be fanciable, that a women's only two possible roles are mother/ or sexual object - that and it's normally lobbed around in secondary school playgrounds makes sure it's a term not to be taken seriously. 

The less said about the quality of the music the better, but to my ears at least, subverting that to Mums I'd Like To Follow' feels wry, and actually pretty fricking hilarious - a jab at how even the most tired of objectifying phrases can be brought right up to date in the twenty-first century. The video itself even comments on the ludicrousity of the american 'got milk?' campaign, utilied so often to lure pre-pubescent disney stars into posing coquettishly with milk on their top lip, or trickling down their face in a disturbingly porny manner. Is the image created really supposed to be about milk or another substance? Yeah, thought so.

And then there's our girl Kim's waist. Photoshopped or not, who gives a shit - this video couldn't be more cartoonish and Kim herself is firmly in on the joke. That anyone is really taking umbrage with her waist-to-hip ratio over anything else is pretty humorous, but hey, if it takes the narrative aware from Kimye Vs Taylor for a second, then so be it. I doubt any of these of these Milf-Moneymakers are complaining.

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