I am at Costa. I am sitting on a long table, sandwiched between a couple that is talking about the Cambodian Market, and a man in a suit reading comic strips in his iPad. My hazelnut latte is burning the back of my mouth with every gulp, and as I open my YouTube app, I nearly choke.
You see, I first read about Madonna‘s new album in the last issue of Attitude, where Matthew Todd did a song-by-song review piece. It seemed promising. I then read the pieces that Mincey Strider wrote with an amazing level of dedication, from the playlist and the changes it endured, to the video release of Girl Gone Wild, Madonna’s second single.
Directed by fashion geniuses Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, the B&W video sees Madonna nodding to her big gay following, and feature super models Sean O’pry, Jon Kortajarena, Simon Nessman, and Rob Evans, along with Kazaky, the gender-bending Ukranian group, that gives a masterclass on how to work a stiletto heel (when I first saw the video, their single LOVE came in mind). The video is sexy, raunchy, and genuinely breathtaking. Scenes where the two male models share a bite from one apple, or Sean O’pry posing on his own, could be coming straight out of a fashion shoot.
I will not debate the Lady Gaga similarity with Alejandro, or stealing, copying, and being inspired from styles. There is no parthenogenesis; art evolves, develops and mutates, and if the spectator is trying to determine its origins, he is missing the point.
I am personally bothered from the fact that the clip was banned from YouTube as it contains ‘nudity and dramatised sexual or implied sexual conduct’. I fully understand how it is important to shield minors from scenes of heavy sexual nature, but I fail to understand why it is only important on gay imagery.
There are tons of clips with semi naked girls washing cars, licking lolly pops, wearing pieces of string that double as swimwear, and grind against sleaze balls that have big chains of misspelled adjectives. Why don’t we enforce the ban there?
I recently stumbled upon another banned video. When I logged in and watched it, it was centred around two guys kissing. Nothing more. Just kissing. And it was flagged. I then saw about ten clips of guys making fun of homosexuality, from pretending to have sex with each other (so not gay), to actively talking to the camera about why gay people will burn in hell. I did not have to log in to see these videos. They were not deemed offensive.
All I am saying is that there might be a heteronormative, if not slightly homonegative aspect of YouTube. And yes, right now Girl Gone Wild is bringing it in the forefront; it is said that the main issue is Madonna grinding and gyrating, but how is this different from any of her other clips?
The couple next to me is now talking about The Voice, and the man in the suit has switched to the Financial Times Website. People change. Mediums change. Attitudes change. The question is when.