I hadn’t heard of Marina and the Diamonds until my friend introduced me to “Primadonna.” Soon afterward I discovered “How to be a Heartbreaker”, and I felt that out of all the pop I’d been listening to lately this catchy second US single off of Electra Heart deserved to be the first I blogged about. Either that or I really just wanted to post a picture of wet, attractive men wearing Speedos.
Time for some social commentary. I’m confident that at least one person watched the music video pictured above and walked away outraged. How dare Marina and the Diamonds objectify men in such a way? What blasphemy could have caused these strapping young lads to subject themselves to such debauchery? Humans aren’t just toys you can toss your hands around, dolls you can seduce and shame whenever the urge strikes!
Don’t worry: I felt the same way. I thought that the men in the music video were being objectified and that it was a shallow message to send. However, a couple of thoughts changed my mind. Like in all music videos in which people shed their clothes – regardless of their sex – the men in “How to be a Heartbreaker” are paid to do so and were not forced into some unjust sex trade. Unlike some other pop songs (cough, Enrique Iglesias’s “Dirty Dancer”), this one doesn’t imply that men are subservient to women or that they are worth more when they are sexualized. Yes, the song is about a girl who goes out to break boys’ hearts, and yes, that girl is a jerk and a player and whatever else you want to call her, but the song itself and its video do not cross the fine line between “sexy” and “sexy to the point of being demeaning.” No, it’s not okay to objectify human beings, but that’s not happening here.
The song itself has a vibrant electropop feel that hooks you into Marina and the Diamond’s guide on how to be a heartbreaker. On my walk home the other day I found myself reciting the rules, starting with rule number one: you gotta have fun. That’s just what this song is – fun. Marina takes the artistic liberty in this video to flaunt her relationships with a variety of virile men, but in the end, she leaves them all behind once the fire fizzles out. Her guidelines could apply to any type of romantic relationship, whether it be a heterosexual or a homosexual one. She simply shows how considerate she is by weaving her methods into song form for the enjoyment of all.
As you can see if you read my older posts I’ve changed my mind about this issue of sex in pop songs. It’s not a topic that has a clear solution and it’s one I would love to address in more detail in a later post. What do you think of the song or the music video? I’m looking forward to listening to more of Marina and the Diamonds – I wonder just how successful she’s going to get!
*Edit, July 10, 2014: Just wanted to say my views on objectification and men have changed since I’ve written this post, and they align more with the author’s views in this post – basically, objectification is not good, and though Marina does it a little more “tastefully” than others, her video still veers into dangerous territory
26 responses to “Marina and the Diamonds “How to be a Heartbreaker” (featuring attractive, nearly-naked men)”
Aah I love Marina and the Diamonds! Or more specifically, her song Primadonna Girl. I think she is so unique and fun! And I love that little heart below her eye!
I’m glad I’ve found a fellow fan, I think the heart is one of her trademarks! Thanks for stopping by, Grace.
One I love this song and the Radioactive and Primadonna Girl
Two I think it’s about time we start objectifying men if it’s okay to do it to women then it’s okay for men. I believe in equality and if we stop it for women then we can do the same for men as well.
I’m getting into her music as well! And yeah, in an ideal world neither gender would be objectified – hopefully we can work up to that point!
It’s my first song by Marina and the Diamonds and i must say, it wasn’t that bad. The song itself, is different from all the electropop songs that I’ve heard, it’s a bit unique and the song was instantly stuck in my head! And yes, them boys was so hot plus they’re half-naked in the shower. Makes me think as if I were her. *giggles* *crazy fingerling* 🙂
She’s a unique artist, and I’m glad that you enjoyed the song and the music video! (:
I don’t absolutely love this song, but I do love “Oh no” by Marina and the Diamonds. I’ll definitely have to watch the video when I’m not in a college computer lab. 😛 The mostly naked men may give passerby the wrong idea.
“Oh No!” is a great song as well, I love how she incorporated psychology into it! And, yeah, I probably wouldn’t watch the video in school either… it’s a tad too scandalous. Thanks for dropping by!
Cute song! The video is hot. Yes, I objectified every man in it, un-apologetically. I agree with your point, though. The models were obviously told what the job involved and they were paid for their work. None of them looked particularly uncomfortable standing half naked in the shower. 🙂 (They looked good. Really good.)
Have you seen this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsyE2rCW71o
Aside from the ogle factor, what I love about the ad is the cheerful nature of all the men. They’re having fun, and that’s what it’s all about, right?
I agree, they looked like they were having fun! Who knows if that was really the case, but either way they were paid for doing their job, and it was one they participated in willingly that wasn’t altogether demeaning.
I hadn’t seen that yet, but I really like it! You’re right that they’re just participating in a campaign that will aid women and the fight against breast cancer; they’re not subjecting themselves to sexual humiliation or anything like that. Thank you for your comment and for sharing that video, it’s one I will reference!
I love Marina’s song, she’s such a fun upbeat singer so her songs make me smile. To be honest, I didn’t really notice the semi-naked men in this video first time around of watching it that much, which is actually quite concerning. However, you can only say she’s following the pop culture that society has developed that for a new pop song your video must contain semi-naked people, namely women who are objectified in skimpy little bikinis shaking their body to most likely Flo Rida or Pitbull’s new song since they are two of the worst! Or your Nikki Minaj that just likes to do that herself… So I don’t think it’s exactly fair to criticise Marina. She’s giving the women of the world some eye-candy for once! haha. 🙂
Yeah I see your point. I think it’s okay for videos to feature attractive, not fully-clothed individuals and for viewers to think “wow, they look great!” but it becomes too much when the models in the videos are considered sexual objects and not human beings. What’s worse in songs like Flo Rida’s or Pitbull’s is that they often demean the women in the lyrics of the song and in the context of the music video – no matter what gender it is people are people, complex and multidimensional.
But, I digress, and I agree that it’s great she included attractive men in her music video. Thanks for dropping by!
Finally you notice her! I LOVE marina. Shes all I listen to all day
I’m sorry, I’m open to recommendations so feel free to share more artists you like! Glad you enjoy her music, though.
Love this post – featuring catchy, cheeky, bubblegum pop with a light-hearted but probing reference to wider issues. You’re a smooth master of your art form. I think you should write a guide to thinking for young people (although it will be suitable for all people).
Aw, thank you! I do my best – hopefully a variety of people enjoy it!
If you like Marina, check out a lady called Foxes.
I will, thank you for the recommendation!
hey can you tell me the name of the guys nin the shower
I’m not sure what their names are, sorry! Perhaps if someone else finds out they’ll contact you.
The one with the tattoos on his chest is Mikkel Jensen and a different one is Rudi Dollmayer.
Thank you for the information, I’m sure many people will use it to their advantage!
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At the bridge, I’m pretty sure she was just wearing a black bow. It just happened to be blending in with her hair.
Thank you for pointing that out, Andrea!
Hi ! Awesome post; I know you might not have the answer to this but I’m absolutely obsessed with the bearded guy at the gas station. The one where she says “You gotta stay pure”
I’ve been frantically searching for his name for an hour now and can’t seem to find it. Does anyone know him? Pleaaaaaaaase? ;-;