Melanie Martinez is a twenty one year old pop star. Vogue said “Melanie Martinez has been plucked from the imagination of Doctor Sues”. Because of her image of “Cry Baby” one of Melanie’s characters which represents her as a child with crazy, colorful hair and outfits; also through her music she speaks out about drug abuse, depression, family dysfunction and self love. “Her lyrics are a twisted blend of childhood naiveté, teenage angst, and adult apathy all of which are sung over creepy synths and hard hitting hip hop” (Vogue).
Melanie gives us another scary, creepy but very deep message behind her song “Mrs. Potato Head” off of her newest album Cry Baby. Martinez explains in her own words what “Mrs. Potato Head” is about. “Its a song about feeling the need to change how you look to fit a certain standard” (Martinez). The video begins with Martinez’s imaginary character “Cry Baby” watching a black and white television in a dark, gloomy living room sittings on the floor eating cookies childishly. A commercial for diet pills comes on. Saying “If you want to be a man magnet” just take this pill. The only side affects are depression, self confident issues, reprogramming brain to obey man. Cry baby begins to cry and question her beauty and self worth. Martinez is sending the message that the world is coming through our televisions and social media and affecting young women’s self worth. Advertising is influencing girls to be beautiful you must be skinny or you’ll be unattractive. Also why do it the healthy way with eating right and exercise when you can have immediate self gratification when you can just take a little pill to fix it all. We watch as Cry Baby shows theses affects on young girls physiological health as she runs to the bathroom and quickly stuffs toilet paper in her top to make her bust seem larger. She smears red glossy lip stick over her lips as she cries in the bathroom looking and judging her new appearance in the bathroom mirror. Cry Baby then finishes off her new look with a small white diet pill. She smiles through the tears that have ran her black mascara down her rosy red cheeks to show she approves of her new image. We follow cry baby as she walks back to the black and white television. You notice she is shaking and trying not to cry maybe the diet pill is starting to take affect.
Our attention turns to the television where it seems to pull us into a story land. Where we meet a beautiful brunet woman and a tall man. The young girl seems to be head over hills for this gentleman until she finds her self in a doctors office. The tall gentleman and doctor converse about her looks. Pulling at her skin and drawing on her face to mark her imperfections. “Its a dehumanizing experience” (pop) and you can see she is not completely comfortable but she wants to please the gentleman. Martinez sings “Don’t be dramatic its just a little plastic. No one will love you if your unattractive.” Then she goes on to sing the chorus “Oh Mrs. Potato Head tell me is it true, pain is beauty?” and “Oh Mr. Potato Head how did you afford her surgery?” Martinez sends out the message that woman in our society are in need of perfection of other people. Also that men, and the world can have power over women making them insecure about their body image”. It is often assumed in consumer culture that “people attend to their body image in an instrumental manner as status and social acceptability” (Feather Stone). Society gives woman the image of a “perfect woman” and if we are not similar then we are not beautiful. Martinez wants us to love our selves for what we are and she wants us to know that we do not have to change our image to be happy and be accepted.
Martinez compares plastic surgery to Mrs. Potato Head which is a toy invented in 1949 by George Lener, where you can rearrange her face how ever you want. Just how the gentleman and doctor are doing to the young lady. Martinez goes on to ask Mr. Potato Head ” Do you swear you’ll stay forever, even if her face don’t stay together.” The world and social media idea of beauty changes all the time. One day the idea of perfection is being super skinny and the next day men only want a girl with curves. Towards the end of the video the gentleman is seen with another girl in a long yellow dress. This show us the sad reality that Mr. Potato Head does not stay forever even after the risks and modifications that our young girl has gone through to become beautiful in his eyes.
Martinez does an amazing job in this video. I highly recommend that woman watch this video. I give it a rating of five out of five. It shows the hard truth about how the world today judges and looks at woman. Through social media and advertising the image of the perfect woman can affect how we look at our body image and self worth. Martinez is spreading the word through her music and telling us that we do not need to change ourselves to be accepted. The world should accept women for who we are as individuals. Woman need to reject and resist harmful messages about the image of an ideal woman and their bodies in today’s popular culture. (kite)
Melanie Martinez ability to give out such a hard message is wonderfully portrayed through this video and her character Cry Baby. The music video its self sets the sad scene that many people do not see unless you are going through this issue yourself. It shows the world what many young girls and woman are going through. While shinning a light on beauty advertisement companys and the ugly side of social media.
Body, Image and Affect in Consumer Culture
Featherstone, Michael 2010. Body, Image and Affect in Consumer Culture. Body & Society, 16(1), pp. 193-221. ISSN 1357-034X [Article] This article explains the relationship between body , image and the effect within the consumer culture. This article is based on popular physiognomic assumptions that the body is a reflection of the self. I will use this to give more information on how the world looks at plastic surgery and beauty. This is an academic journal
“The Effects of Cosmetic Surgery on Body Image, Self-Esteem, and Psychological Problems.” Soest, T. Von, et al. Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, vol. 62, no. 10, 2009, pp. 1238–1244., doi:10.1016/j.bjps.2007.12.093.This is a study that will investigate if plastic surgery has an affect on someone’s body image , general self esteem, and psychological problems. They have taken this information from a survey that involves 155 female cosmetic surgery patients. I will use this study to prove Melianes message on plastic surgery. This is a scholarly journal from google scholar.
YouTube. (2018). Body Positivity or Body Obsession? Learning to See More & Be More | Lindsay Kite | TEDxSaltLakeCity. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDowwh0EU4w&t=203s [Accessed 28 Nov. 2018].Lindsey Kite talks about her own struggle with body imagery and what she is doing to help the world. I will use her story to help my reader emotionally connect to my review and the issue. Lindsay Kite is a scholar and advocate of positive body image.
YouTube. (2018). Melanie Martinez – Mrs. Potato Head [Official Video]. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkri1NUq9ro [Accessed 28 Nov. 2018]. Is a video about plastic surgery and its consequences. It also addresses the struggle many people deal with their idea of beauty. I will use this video to give a view of how the world ideas and pressure of beauty affect people today.This is my primary source.
YouTube. (2018). Melanie Martinez Monday – Mrs Potato Head | Reaction, Review & Explanation. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYmFl0sodmE&t=70s [Accessed 28 Nov. 2018]. In this review they go over the whole video giving insight and opinion of Melenians work. This will help me fully understand “Mrs.Potato Head” by Melianie Martinez. This is my popular source.