Responding Critically to Azalea’s ‘Bounce’

In class this week my (Cathy’s) teacher education students were exploring indirect  instruction through learning centers.  One of the centers featured Iggy Azalea’s music video, Bounce, and the instructions to discuss the work through a critical literacy lens.   (E.g. What message do you think the artist wants us to get from this video? Based on the artist’s thoughts and actions (expressed in the song), how would you say she is portraying herself to the world?)

Most of the students had heard of the video but never actually viewed it until arriving at the literacy center.  (Perhaps you haven’t either).  Without revealing the content, I will reiterate the general tone of the reactions.   Most students were annoyed by the video content.  One student said she was disgusted (and this is not sexual content).  One group, however,  tried to take a broader view.  They said they could not judge the work until they understood Azalea’s intent.  So they took it upon themselves to look up an interview in which Azalea discusses her purpose for portraying her song the way she did.  After viewing the interview, they were angry.  Azalea explained that she portrayed herself thusly so she would be seen as “flashy”.  No message, just glamour.  After this insight, some wonderful discussion ensued about cultural ethics and hegemony.

One student spoke to me at the conclusion of class and confessed that she was surprised by her own reaction.  In her words, “I have changed.    Studying literacy education has given me a different perspective.  I see the world differently, especially things like music videos.”

Below is the link so you can view this content for yourself and decide.  The second link is the video in which Azalea discusses her purpose for making the video.

Happy critical viewing!

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