What does this video say about American teen culture ?

Listening to the radio earlier playing this year's top 100 singles, one song brought back the memory of a particular music video which used to be on whenever I was down the gym, and which to me says much about teen culture, particularly in the US.

Avril Lavigne' song "Girlfriend" features a video about a slightly geeky girl, going out with a "hot" bloke, and another girl, much more "sassy" and part of the "in crowd" decides she wants to go out with the guy, so she enacts a series of just plain nasty tricks on the nice geeky girl and actually gets the guy.

I know it is supposed to be a bit of fun, but I can't be the only person who is slightly disturbed that people thought this would resonate with teenage kids (who are Avril Lavigne's key demographic).

The YouTube clip below is the version of the song that plays at double speed (if you have not heard the song, it's shit so it does not matter), but it gives you the idea of what the video is about.


GaffaUK said...

Hi NB - as a liberal and a Avril fan I'm going give a defence..

I'm not sure this can say anything particularly about American teen culture because although this song and video was a big hit this year in many countries - it's just ONE song and video and cannot hope to represent US teen culture in the same way as Shakin Stevens making No 1 in the 80s with such rubbish as 'Green Door' doesn't sum up UK teens in the early 80s.

Besides when did those singers in pop and rock have a moral duty to sing about being and doing nice things? I really think most teenagers are smarter than adults give them credit for and aren't so easily influenced. I'm sure most can see this as Avril playing a character (see plays both parts) and that this is pretty much harmless tongue in cheek fun.

The Beatles and the Stones had plenty of teenage fans but I don't think anyone sane would start to kill people with hammers, set fire to buildings, have sympathy for the devil because it was mentioned in a record.

Norfolk Blogger said...

It's not the song. although it is absolute shite, its the tone of the video. It's the fact that someone sat down at a meeting and said "this will work". The video just said to me that there is somethong very wrong if a record company exec thinks this is what sells records.

GaffaUK said...

If the record company exec (or more likely the director of the video) felt that this sold then he or she was absolutely right.

And if the message (if anyone takes it seriously) is wrong does that mean all pop videos should be vetted? The first video I remember seeing on TOTP was Pink's Floyd 'Another Brick in the Wall: Part 2'. Excellent stuff. And I didn't grow up thinking all teachers wanted to shove kids through a mincer;)