Wrecking Ball is a song by American singer, Miley Cyrus. This song was released on August 25, 2013 by RCA Records. It is a pop ballad which's topic describes a relationship deteriorating.
The song received positive reviews from critics and debuted on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 at number fifty.
As of January 2014, "Wrecking Ball" has sold three million copies in the United States.
An interesting article I found whilst researching the song discusses whether or not the song is actually a 'hit'. This can be found on The Record.
The music video to this song was released on September 9th 2013, which has inspiration/ is reminiscent of Sinead O'Connor's song 'Nothing Compares 2 U' there is a high level of intertextuality of O'Connor's video in the Wrecking Ball video. (Baudrillard and his theory of Simulacra can be applied to this)
The critic opinion on this video was largely divided as many considered it to be provocative /inappropriate.
Miley Cyrus considers herself to be a post-feminist. Wikipedia definition:
"the ideology of postfeminism is often recognised by its contrast with a prevailing or preceding feminism. Postfeminism strives towards the next stage in gender-related societal progress, and as such is often conceived as in favor of a society that is no longer defined bigender binary and gender role."
She believes that feminism assumes male control. She breaks free from this, especially in this video, as although a traditional feminist may see 'Wrecking Ball' as a video where Cyrus is exploited and seen as a sexual object, perhaps even exploited by the director (Terry Richardson, who is involved with a lot of controversy surrounding his exploitation of women) They may also claim that this video is representative of the patriarchal world that we live in.
However, as a post-feminist, Cyrus believes that instead, she is presenting the idea that she is not trapped at all, and is free, creating art. As a post-feminist, she would also state that the patriarchy is an out-dated term, and does not agree with it.
Through her hair, Cyrus is breaking gender stereotypes as the repeated stereotype that men should have short hair, and women should have long hair, has become normative in society, therefore making it difficult to break free from this societal construct. Through her hair, Miley Cyrus is being Counter hegemonic, as she decides to ignore the restrictions of society, and break gender stereotypes.
Another singer who had similar thoughts/beliefs as Cyrus is Annie Lennox, who shocked many people in the 80s due to her short, ginger hair
hegemony, gramsi, annie lennox,
The white tank top that she is wearing, which exposes her strong arms this typically is seen as a male stereotype, and as she is a female wearing this top, with her arms shown as muscular, many would assume her sexuality, and believes she looks like a lesbian. Again, this is a societal construct and very stereotypical. However, the top which is cropped, which also has feminine connotations, so she is mixing up the stereotypes and going against them.
sigmund freud, the sledgehammer is seen as a phallic object.
caroline vernallis, musicologist would disagree with the choices in the video,
she uses direct mode of address, when swinging on the ball which can have both sexual, and non sexual connotations (engaging with the audience).