If you have not watched Maroon 5’s new video, Animals, you should. I feel bad advising this since it just sucks THAT MUCH. None the less it is worth taking a quick peek at, to remind us all how terrible representation of women in the media still is (as if we needed a reminder)!
The first time I watched this video my face was in a permanent scowl. I do not know what got me the most, the comparison of the leading lady of the video to a piece of meat, Adam Levine straight up STALKING her throughout the whole thing or the fact that just like a beautiful bloody fairytale they end up passionately making love to each other in the end. *sigh*
So what do the images of Animals tell me life is all about? How do I start a relationship according to Maroon 5?
Well if I want to talk to you I should forgo the easy option of sparking up conversation and skip right down to the I am going to stalk you until you are mine path. Then after all the stalking (and I am done hanging out with slabs of meat and rubbing blood all over myself) when I finally get close to you I should just take pictures of you while you sleep. But do not fret, it is all out of love so it is ok. Next step, since all of these acts have obviously showed you how much I care we can have sex now! Not only that but we can have blood poured all over us to really drive home the “you are nothing but a piece of meat to me” analogy!
And everyone lives happily ever after in Maroon 5 fantasy land.
Now I know what some people are thinking, it is JUST a video, it is not real life, what is the big deal? If you are wondering these questions you need to do some background reading. No matter how blissfully ignorant we can all try to be the truth of the matter is this stuff influences us all. Music, movies, television – whether we are conscious of it or not we are all motivated (or not motivated) by the images constantly fed to us.
I will admit I rock out to corny Maroon 5 songs now and again. I also enjoy the wit of Adam Levine when indulging in The Voice. But this video gave me the creeps and now so does Adam Levine.
Lyrics like, “I will hunt you down” and “I can smell your scent for miles” are not only super creepy but just plain frightening. Stalking is a serious offense that effects many men AND women every single day. It has been used a romantic trope in numerous music videos and this is just one example.
In the beginning of this post I advised you all to watch the video to show how bad representation of women in the media still is. But this video not only misrepresents women but it does a disservice to men as well. Connecting masculinity and manhood to stalking and violence continues to shape and mold and constrict men into a box of actions that is deemed acceptable.
According to the Victims of Crime website, “1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men have experienced stalking victimization at some point during their lifetime in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed“.
If anything this video should be used as a stalking awareness campaign. Stalking is not joke and it is no act of love. The romanticized image being thrown at you by the albeit catchy but awful song, Animals, is not a healthy functioning relationship. I can only hope that viewers of this video do not internalize these messages, although if you read the comments on the video I am afraid to say some already have.
*If you or someone you know has been a victim of stalking and need help check out safehorizon.org or call 866.689.HELP (4357).