Monday, October 31, 2011

Map of Tasmania - Amanda Palmer

This music video is festive mix of outrageous and catchy. Palmer blunty espouses her (hope I don't offend anyone here) pussy pride by turning the usually taboo subject of pubic hair into a fierce and vibrant music video. The visuals pop out at you and are very pretty, serving to contrast with usual perception of pubic hair as ugly and shameful. Shock, splash and empowerment are often themes of Palmers songs or music videos, and this one fits by taking an offshoot of feminist pride and taking away the shame of a certain subject.

While there isn't a strict story in the video there is a sense of narrative. Palmer starts of by singing about censorship and oppression - but we see everyone busting loose and rocking out in resistance. Then we hear her sing about showing off her 'map of tasmania' and slowly but surely all the people shown the video reveal their maps of tasmania and they are liberated. Palmer sings about the horrors of shaving and we keep seeing women revealing their flashy exciting 'maps of tasmania' - swirls of hundred dollar bills, flowers, decks of bards and so on. As the music video goes on all involved become full of pussy pride as well. Stylistically this music video is appealing, colorful and flashy which all serve to contradict the common perception of 'maps of tasmania' as a private shame.

The fact that the subject matter of this music video is so unheard of, if not controversial also adds to its appeal. The shock value inherent in the subject matter serves as a good draw, and then after watching makes one reconsider the subject matter altogether. This makes the message in the video very effective for its audience.

*Ironically (yes real irony) you can see that some of the women in the music video are mostly shaven. Shame Shame.


haley schattner said...

Once I got over the first few seconds of shock, I enjoyed this video and interested in seeing what crazy pubic hair designs they would come up with next.

K. Tyler Christensen said...

I love Amanda Palmer. She never strays from who she is. Her vision is her own. I always want to make comparisons with her to other artists and it's futile. She is original and I think that's what always brings me back to her.
As far as this video is concerned, I think my favorite of the ornate lady parts was the lego construct. It reminded me of being a kid. It's incredibly difficult to take your eyes off the screen when watching this video. The camera moves quickly. The colors are bright and visually aggressive. The characters are all very unique- looking (I had to rewind on the Willow Smith/Justin Bieber crossbreed that stood next to Palmer toward the end of the video, I'm a sucker for an asymmetrical haircut).
Pubic hair never stops being an interesting topic. Ever.