Visual Pleasure Theory: The Vaccines “Norgaard” music video

Sexual images and beautiful objects are ubiquitous elements in social media and marketing, including the music industry. Many music videos use woman as objects to be gazed upon and viewed pleasurably. The visual pleasure theory and its elements of fetishism, voyeurism, and narcissism can be found in the music video for the song “Norgaard” by The Vaccines. The concept of the video is that there is a photo shoot happening with the members of the band as well as a beautiful young woman who gains most of the video’s attention. Without even listening to the lyrics of the song the viewer can tell that she is the object of focus. From the first frame we see her sitting in a comfortable chair in the middle of the scene with the band members standing behind her, while one attends to her by lighting her pipe.

The young woman is thus portrayed as a fetish; a beautiful object at which to be gazed upon. She is being gazed upon not only by the video viewer, but also by the members of the band in the video. As the video progresses she changes outfits that include low cut tops, and short skirts, dresses, or shorts. Throughout these scenarios that she is dressed up for we see the band members interacting with her, gazing upon her lustfully. In one scene she is standing over a bowling ball return and a gust of wind causes her skirt to fly up. In another scene the men and woman seem to be playing a game of “spin the bottle” with a bowling pin, where she is the one spinning and the rest of the men are pining for her, hoping that it will point to them. They all appear to be trying to win her affection and she is presenting herself to them in a seductive, playful manner, which includes playing with a bowling ball, twirling around a tennis racket and straddling a bike. The band members, despite also participating in the photo shoot, are not seen as objects because of their awkward nature and unflattering clothing. While at some points the actors are acknowledging the camera, at other times, such as when the woman and one man are playfully riding the bike around, the audience is viewing the scene as voyeurs, witnessing an intimate scene. It happens several times throughout the video as we witness her flirt back and forth with all of the men. She also twirls around several times in her short skirt so that the audience and the men in the video can see her underwear, possibly unaware that the audience can see this, or at least only knowledgeable that the men in the room can see it. The audience become voyeurs, gazing upon this female playfully posing for the camera and flirting with the men. Female viewers are led to look upon the female actor narcissistically, wanting to be young, thin, seductive, and beautiful like her, and as someone who can attract the attention of men. Their attention throughout the whole video is on her, and they seemingly compete for her affection.

With regard to fetishism, this music video suggests that it is normal and desirable for women to want and attempt to attract the attention of men and that if a girl is thin, young and beautiful she will easily do so. This video does not as strongly suggest that it is normal for men to be gazed upon as objects, but rather that they should be participating in the gazing. The men are the subjects while the girl is the object. In terms of voyeurism, the message is that playful flirting is appropriate interaction for men and women. Narcissistically, the message is that it is normal and desirable for women to be objectified, as well as to flirt and dress seductively to garner the attention of male onlookers. It also suggests that it is normal for men to be the subjects who gaze upon young beautiful woman and be rewarded by interacting with them. The implications of this are that women watching the video will go to great lengths to look like her and will have low self-esteem if they cannot emulate this desirable image. Men also may be more inclined to objectify women since it is depicted as normal to do so in this video.

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One thought on “Visual Pleasure Theory: The Vaccines “Norgaard” music video

  1. I first decided to watch the music video before reading your blog post as I had never heard of this song or band, so I wanted to see what I thought. All my thoughts were exactly what you had mentioned in your blog post and I feel that the visual pleasure theory fits the best with this type of music video. The woman in this video is definitely being objectified just as you had mentioned and the men are gazing at her as if she was truly an object. I feel this shows the lack of respect there is towards women nowadays, but that is not the case for every male. You also mentioned how everything is being sexualized such as by the skirt and other clothing items being very revealing and flirty. Her flying skirt shows how she is possible confident in her body and self very much, so she is showing the men how she “makes” herself an object in their presence as well. Also, if you carefully look at how she looks at the camera, there is almost no eye contact at all, but when there is, the look she makes is specifically made to look very sexual. Also the fact that the men aren’t dressed well shows that all that matters in a relationship, is that the woman looks sexy, while the man can look any way he desires, because everything is made to be about the woman’s looks.

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