Critics, Femininity, Value

Things are spicing up in “Boy Bands and the Performance of Pop Masculinity”. Not that there was any doubt they would.

Essentially, critics have always panned Boy Bands. They are seen as shallow, and worth less than musicians who display a harder masculine image, rebel, and are more cerebral than emotional.

Why do we value intellect over emotions?

The Beatles, for example, began their career as baby faced boys next door, singing songs that made feminine identified folx feel seen, during a time when womxn stayed at home. “Beatlemania” was described as a “hysteria”. When the Beatles began switching their tune in the late 1960s, they became more critically accepted. Critics, let us point out, are generally white and male.

Much of “pop” music and therefore boy band music, appropriates from barbershop quartets and doo-wop groups, African-American originated musical expressions.

There is a connection between what we see as VALUABLE, MASCULINE, WHITENESS and WHO IS IN POWER.

My general discovery is that anything that is deemed to be more “feminine” or “gender fluid” is not worth as much critically. However, no one can deny the EMOTIONAL connection and phenomenon that Boy Bands have created. They touch people, depict a romantic and expressive version of masculinity that is then made fun of. Is this just patriarchy?

And yet! The Patriarchy is profiting off of them! Over and over and over again this plays out.

Georgina Gregory talks about “Hierarchies of Value”. Fantastic, I love this. Millions of people could follow and buy and love boy bands, but they will never go down in the history books so to speak. They will be viewed as superficial, flighty.

Don’t we need boy bands in a way? Doesn’t toxic masculinity that pushes down emotions and need to be done away with? What solution are boy bands giving us? Instead of an oppressive system of boy band music, could we imagine a system where artists have autonomy and are allowed to provide the comfort and romanticism and ecstasy that humans clearly need?

And what is wrong with an algorithm for fun anyway? An algorithm for profit I can do without but, if the vision of success is unbridled human expression and communal celebration (could that not be what boy bands are essentially) is that not an algorithm we want to look at?




Sharing Research on Boy Bands for Dance Project One Human Boy Band — Calgary Alberta

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Kara Bullock

Kara Bullock

Sharing Research on Boy Bands for Dance Project One Human Boy Band — Calgary Alberta

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