Analysis of Missy Elliot’s Music Video: Work it
Selected Topics in Gender Studies. SS 2005
“DJ, please pick up your phone I'm on the request line
This is a Missy Elliott one-time exclusive”
Missy Elliot, Work It.
Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration
TABLE OF CONTENT
STRUCTURE OF THE STUDY 3
THE PLOT, CHRONOLOGICAL 4
FIRST SCENE 4
BABY BLUE SPORT DRESS 5
LADY SALON 6
TABLE FOR TWO 7
COOL CAR 7
HOT DANCE 7
IN LOVING MEMORY 8
TEEN STAR 8
BOYS, BOYS, BOYS 8
ONCLE SAM 9
DUMB CHILD 9
REVERSE IT 10
REFERENCES IN THE VIDEO 11
SYMBOLS IN THE VIDEO 11
KEY SCENES IN THE VIDEO 12
BEE QUEEN (0:27 MINUTES IN THE VIDEO) 12
BEAUTY SALON (01:39 MINUTES IN THE VIDEO) 12
RESTAURANT SCENE (01:55 AND 02:02 MINUTES IN THE VIDEO) 13
LIST OF REFERENCES 15
FIGURES AND STILLS 17
Missy Elliot is one of the biggest in Hip Hop genre, and the biggest
female Hip Hop artist (Curve, 2004). Her first album, Supa Dupa Fly,
was released 1997 and was followed by Da Real World (1999), Miss E…
So Addictive (2001), Under Construction (2002), and This Is Not a Test
(2003). Missy Elliot is huge, she is “bigger then Beyonce's weave.
Hotter then the hot sauce your dad uses and badder then Michael Jackson's
crew in the video, Missy is THE ONE. Producer, singer, song-writer,
experimental, trend-setting pioneer” (Red Hot Online LTD, 2005).
This is not something that anyone easily achieve, and especially not
a woman since ”women within the music industry are more broadly
conceived, as well as women
within all aspects of media production and technology, engage in a constant
battle to claim a space for themselves and challenge notions of male
in these industries” (Women's Studies in communication, 2004).
The video analyzed in this paper is Work it. The video seems very expensive
and it is a varied content with fast clips and carefully hidden messages.
The purpose of this paper is to locate, illustrate and explain what
the video tries to communicate. By analyzing the context I will study
the characters, clothes, body images and so on in order to find out
what they express.
Structure of the study
The first part of the paper is an overview and explanation of the content
of the video in chronological order. It guides the reader through the
video, scene by scene. The overview of the plot in chronological order
includes a body oriented focus since the body image is more than the
eye can see. It is not only the person in action and what he or she
is currently doing, body images includes everything else around as well.
The first part further investigates how the persons are presented, if
they are portrayed as objects, decoration or if they are acting. Furthermore
are body related issues analyzed, that includes if the characters are
female or male, what skin colors they have, if it includes the whole
body or just fragments of bodies, like a face or hand. Body action is
another issue that is studied. How do the characters move? What do the
key persons do and what is the result of their action? Another important
factor is body looks which includes both clothing and fashion. In addition
to all the mentioned factors that will be analyzed with the characters
and the settings, this research studies what kind of clothes that are
in the video, if it is modern, functional, personal or discrete clothes.
Nonetheless, I will also research how fashionable the clothes are. How
is the stylish aspect is described and if it is stylish or not, what
kind of colors that characters wear. Also if there is any present body
decorations like tattoos or piercing. Description of the video and further
and deeper analysis then continuous in the part called The Plot. Then
references and symbols are investigated, interpreted and analyzed and
at the paper ends with a focus of three different key scenes. At the
very end there is a conclusion of the main content issues.
The plot, chronological
The first thing in picture when the video starts is a public payphone.
Am colored man in baggy sport clothes and a fisher’s hat, which
color matches he’s clothes, picks up the phone and he is trying
to get through to the DJ, Missy Elliott. There are four male dancers
standing in the background and it looks like there waiting for the music
so they can start dancing. The choir sings that she shall pick up the
receiver because he has got a request. It takes place below ground in
what seems to be a large garage and it is dark and not colorful at all.
There is a short clip that shows bees all over a phone and a female,
well manicured hand that is DJ:ing. The scene flips back and the man
hangs up the phone. In the background the male dancers doing some cool
hip hop moves in a stair that leads up from the garage.
Next scene takes place in a dessert playground. It is autumn weather
with leaves covering the ground. You can also see that there is a storm
coming. The sky is grey, there are dark clouds and there is lightning.
The wind blows and makes the swings rock and the merry go round and
round, but there is something unnatural with the scene. The swings are
not rocking parallel in the same direction, and they are not rocking
smoothly like the wind is rocking them. It is like a scene from Terminator
II. Then Missy Elliott glides through the leaves with her feet first.
It looks like something that we can not see is dragging her by her feet,
quit fast. Then it stops and she lies still. It moves back to the scene
with the man who is trying to get through to Missy Elliott. He is making
a move with his hand directly towards us, he is interacting with us.
There is a close up on a payphone covered with bees, real bees. Bees
symbolize work and the phrase busy as a bee is commonly used (Dream
Moods, 2005). Inside a large beehive is Missy Elliott acting as the
DJ (Figure 1), and she is the queen bee. In a bee society there is normally
only one queen bee and the rest of the females are the working bees
that take care of everything, except of propagation. There are bees
all over and they are even crawling in her face. The male bees are all
drones, and the only thing a drone does is mate with the queen. (Sunday
Observer, 2001) The figurative meaning of a drone is that the person
is lazy and doing a monotonous work (The Swedish School Net, 2005) Missy
Elliott is masculine dressed in a coat with a fur collar and her hair
is tied back and hidden under a hat. She is wearing big earrings with
Once again it flips over to the scene in the playground. Missy Elliott
rises in an unnatural way. Her body is stiff and it looks like something
invisible raises her, like she is a piece in a play (Figure 2). Then
she starts dancing and singing. Here for the first time Missy Elliott
is cut in as a narrator in black and white, wearing sporty clothes and
her golden jewelry. Camera moves back to the playground where dancers
that have been laying flat on the ground rise next to her. There rice
in the same unnatural way as Missy Elliott did. They are all male and
wear the same baggy clothes, and a with a Big Pac t-shirt. Missy Elliott
and the dancers make the same moves and dance in a line with Missy Elliott
in the middle. The dancers are dressed alike with black pants and a
black long sleeved sweatshirt beneath a Big Pack t-shirt. They also
have got different black hats or caps. Missy is wearing almost the same
clothes. The Big Pac t-shirt and worn out baggy jeans. Over the t-shirt
she has got the coat with fur collar that she wore in the bee house.
She has got her hair in a ribbon and her own personally golden necklaces
and the same earrings as before. The weather is grey with lightning.
There are close-ups on Missy’s shoes as she makes some dance moves.
They all do some advanced dancing and Missy is standing on her hands.
In between their dance there is a short cut with a young Hip Hop guy,
in what seems to be somewhere else in the garage. He walks across a
chessboard painted dance floor, carrying something in his arms, and
heads for the large portable stereo. The same dancers that were present
in the first scene stand up against a wall in the outer part of the
Baby blue sport dress
There are two fast clips after each other and they are both presented
in the garage. First we can see the young Hip Hop boy from the scene
before dancing, and then there is a close up of Missy wearing blue.
She sings that the guy shall give her his numbers so she can call him,
and it is illustrated with a lot of hands offering her cell phones.
The setting changes to the chess board and Missy Elliott dancing alone
and doing cool moves that fits the music. She is wearing a baby blue
sport dress from adidas, a fury cap, gloves without fingers and the
same big golden jewelries (Figure 3). She has folded the pants on one
of her legs so it looks like one leg is shorts and one leg is normal
The scene changes back to the playground and Missy Elliot turns around
and shows the back of her coat. All the dancers are dancing while Missy
Elliot just stands still and shows an illustration of Aaliyah painted
on the back of her coat. Aaliyah was a young, established R&B star
which died at an early age in the year 2001 (Rock on the Net, 2005).
The scene flip backs to the garage where the dancers now take turns
of dancing on the chessboard. They are all individually clothed in street
dance sport clothes. Missy Elliott is the only female and the five dancers
have different skin color and dance styles. They are dancing one at
the time, and when someone is dancing the rest of them stand in a half
circle watching. Except when Missy Elliott is dancing, there is no one
else caught by the camera when she shows her moves. All the dancers
are really good and do some really advanced moves (Figure 4). Missy
Elliott, for example, spins on her head and does a split. There are
short clips from the playground scene and on Missy as a narrator. On
the garage Missy Elliott sings that she shall shave herself and she
is holding something that looks like a hairball in her hand, and blows
it into the camera. There is a new version of the scene with the cell
phones, but instead this time Missy asks for a glass of water. A hand
with white gloves offers her water.
Another scene is introduced. It takes place in a ladies’ hairdresser
salon where four ladies are lined up to get their hair styled. It is
only afro American women in the salon and the all look alike. The costumers
have extremely long, straight hair and are dressed in pastel colors,
mainly pink. They act, look, and move alike, same goes for their four
hair dressers. They all have large afro haircuts and are wearing a very
short, white, working coat and high heel boats. The afro hairstyle on
the hairdresser can be seen as Missy Elliott wants us to know that she
supports the Afro American woman. There is a bright, green yellow light
combined with dark flashes, also the scene from the garage where Missy
dances alone, and Missy as the narrator flip by. The salon looks very
posh and the women are very feminine and beautiful. Missy Elliott enters
the scene and sings and moves closer and closer into the camera. She
wears different clothes and colors. Her sport dress is of a darker shade
and she is hiding all her hair behind a baseball cap (Figure 5). She
wears the cap as a Hip Hoper, slightly on the side. The set illustrates
the lyrics, and there is a close up with one of the costumer that sings
that if you are a fly girl you should get a manicure, a pedicure, and
get your hair done, in other words services that a hairdresser offers
and that are seen as feminine activities. A fly girl means an African
American women that is pretty, cool and fashionable (American-Australian
Slang Dictionary, 2002). When the close up is done, all the ladies in
the salon start to rock to the music.
Table for two
There is a new scene again and Missy Elliott and a man sit at a two
persons table in a posh restaurant. They are both drinking drinks and
she talks and he listens. He is colored, has his hair laid back in small
braids, and is wearing a nice suit in a discrete color. Missy Elliot
looks a little bit more feminine in this scene. She has a slightly smaller,
single gold necklace, her hair is flattened and parted down the side,
and beneath a sport jacket she has her top cut low. Hi finishes his
drink and through the bottom of the glass he looks at Missy, but instead
he sees Halle Berry. Halle Barry is an African American women, known
from films like Die Another Day (2002), Gothica (2003) and Catwoman
(2004) (Hallewood, 2005). Missy sings at the same time if he does not
think that she looks like a Halle Berry poster. He does not say anything
and Missy sings that she is the best he can find and when she sings
that she is going to make him hot he faints and falls of his chair.
Then there are, once again, clips of Missy in the play yard and as a
In the next scene the man from the restaurant is filmed from the front
when he sits in his big, American, old car. Now he wears a white sleeveless
t-shirt and some jewelry. They are in close to the entrance of a big
garage. Missy is standing beside the care and sings to him. She also
fronts the camera with her body and as she sings her hole body leans
over towards the car in a way that breaks natural gravity laws. It looks
like he is talking to a prostitute in thee street, but Missy sings that
she is not a prostitute even if she can give him what he wants. There
is a close up on the man’s face as a reflection from the rear-view
driving mirror which shows that he now has got three scratches on his
left cheek. Missy has a large afro haircut, a black and yellow track
suit and her personal jewelry.
Some new dancers are introduced in the video. Missy is standing in the
middle of a row and she has two ladies on each side that dance so it
looks like they are bending over and flashing there behinds (Figure
6). In this scene there are more bare skin shown. Missy wears jeans
shorts that end just above her knees, and on her left knee she has got
some kind of sporty bandage to protect her knee when dancing. She wears
it with a red and white track suit jacket and a white golf cap. The
dancers are dressed in dark blue colors. Their hot pants are really
short and they have matched it with track suit jackets and jewelry.
When the dancers rice they are shaking their behinds while dancing.
Their expression is sturdy, sexy, and cocky.
In loving memory
The camera flips back to the man in his car. Now we can se that the
hood of the car is decorated. There are two pictures, one of Aaliyah
(see earlier description) and the other one of Lisa "Left Eye"
Lopez. The text beneath the pictures says “In Loving Memory”.
Left Eye Lopez, which was a member of the successful R’n’B/hip-hop
group TLC, died just after Aaliyah did, and there were speculations
that it was meant to happen since they both died young and as Left Eye
Lopez got killed in a car accident where no one else out of seven persons
were even injured (Chart Communications, 2005). This can be seen as
Missy pays tribute to both their memories.
Once again there is the scene from the playground, but now Missy is
dancing with five young girls. In this scene she does not take a central
part, instead she is just one of the dancers. Missy is wearing a dark
colored track suit and four of the girls wear darker track suits with
shorts and high, white socks. The fifth girl is Alyson Stoner and she
stands out since she is the only white girl and she wears a baby pink
jacket and shorts combined with white, high socks. Alyson Stoner is
a young American star that has done film, TV, commercials and has taken
part of music videos, e.g. this music video as well as Missy Elliot’s
Gossip Folks (Teen Stars Online, 2004). There are short clips from Missy
in the scene with more nudity and as a narrator and then it flips back
to the playground where Alyson Stoner makes a dance solo. They are all
dancing again in the playground and clip from Missy, styled as she was
in the first scene from the playground.
Boys, boys, boys
Missy as the narrator sings about boys from all over the world and the
scene changes to become what looks like a line at the police where eye
witnesses identifies criminals. She sings of boys with different origins
“black, white, Portuguese, and Chinese boys” and video matches
the lyrics since the boys are shown in pairs as she sings about them.
Next thing she sings to the girls and the scene changes into some kind
of gangster club setting. There are velvet walls and a red light. The
red light indicates that there are illegal actions taking place as “A
red-light district is a neighborhood where prostitution is a common
part of everyday life” (Wikipedia, 2005). Two female dancers are
dancing, each beside a pole. They wear hot pants and a bra and it looks
like they are dancing for money. Missy is in the center, wearing her
with fury cap and a track suit, sings that the girls shall take the
mens’ money and not be ashamed. It is raining paper money and
money is all over the floor. Missy is counting and as it flips from
the club scene to Missy as the narrator, she sings that the girls shall
just make sure that they are in control of the game.
In the next scene she lays on a coach wearing a pink and brown track
suit, matched with a pink hat. The setting is elegant and cool with
green walls and two big candelabras. She lays on the side, facing the
camera, and behind her stands a copy of Prince (Figure 7). He is sucking
up for her, licking and stroking just over her, but she sings that she
is never going to sell out her name like he did. In 1993 Prince changed
his name into an unpronounceable symbol, but took back his former name
in 2000 as his contract with Time Warner expired (Prince.Org, 2005).
Both words and how Prince is pictured shows that Missy is dissing him.
The scene flips over to a new setting where two men are standing next
to each other. One is black and wears a headscarf, the kind that cleaners
do, and he refers to the other man as master. The other man is wearing
19. Century colonial clothes and a white wig. Symbolizing a slave and
his master. The black man hits the other one, and when doing so he looses
his with mustache and he is turning into a black man. This is the opposite
from how it used to be. Earlier white man painted themselves black and
played the role of black men in films. As the man with the headscarf
sings “picture black Sam” the other man looks at his now
black hands in a scared and surprised look.
Missy as the narrator is back and as she sings about a Lamborghini she
holds a toy car in her hand, throws it up, and swallows it in an unnatural
way. This can symbolize that she consumes luxury items. Then there are
some fast, different clips from earlier settings. Missy in her fury
coat from the first scene in the deserted playground, as the narrator,
and dancing with the young girls in the playground.
She sings about acting dumb and clips with her in an oversized classroom
are shown. It looks like her head is glued to a child’s body and
she sits on a wooden stool, wearing a pink tracksuit and a dumb hat.
The hat children had to wear while standing in a corner and feel ashamed
in earlier days. She is also singing “eooooh daa”, the sounds
that mean that you do not understand and are stupid. The scene flips
again and as she sings about the drummer boy with the “pa rum
pum pum pum”, world wide known with Bing Crosby and David Bowie,
two army men are pictured in front of the flag of the United States.
On is fronting the camera and salutes, the other is standing behind
slightly turned to the side and he drums the drums attached to him.
After that all the scenes that have been shoved before come back in
short clips. The scene with Missy and the dancers from the first scene
in the playground, Missy with the Prince look alike, Alyson Stoner,
Missy and the less dressed female dancers, Missy in her baby blue track
suit with one leg short, the narrator, Missy in the hair dresser salon,
as a dumb child in the corner, the dancers on the chessboard, the guys
lined up in a row, and the two men in the slave scene. Then Missy in
a close up picture of her bee queen DJ hands changes the music and Missy
sings to the ladies, after that the scenes with girls and ladies rocking
the music are shown. The video ends with the first scene where the men
called Missy, the DJ, and Missy the bee queen is back in the picture.
Some short scenes where different dancers in different settings dances
come back. The very last scene is Missy from the first scene in the
playground, but now she is alone and pretends to scratch some invisible
records. Then she laughs, waves her hand as it is stupid and walks out
of the picture.
All the characters in the video are acting, except for the attractive
man that Missy is dining with, the same man that later sits in the car.
He is more objectified, and represents all men when Missy is talking
to him. He does not say anything, and the moves he makes is fixing his
hair to make sure he looks his best. That supports that he is more of
an object. The rest of the characters are not presented as objects,
instead they are there for a reason, to express and increase the meaning
of the lyrics. Missy is present in almost every picture and she is taking
many different roles in the video, e.g. the bees queen DJ, the narrator,
the fancy lady dining with the attractive man, and the dumb child.
Almost everyone acting in the video has got the rhythm and moves in
a cool way to the music. There are a few exceptions in the video, like
the men in the slave scene. They are not a part of the music and they
act like they have something else to say. The man with the headscarf
is asking how it would look with a black Uncle Sam. Same thing is it
with the soldiers, the man saluting and the drummer boy. They are both
acting, but they do not move to the music, instead they help express
the lyrics. The clothes in the video are very well planned. Missy is
often dressed as on of the rest, but details separate her as the star.
She wears the typical Hip Hop track suit, but she modifies the clothes
to make them more personal. For example, she folds one leg on her trousers,
like bikers do, so it looks like one leg belongs to a pair of shorts.
She is also wearing a lot of different track suits, e.g. baby blue,
brown and pink and a darker one. This can be a result of that she has
her on line of adidas clothes called Respect (adidas, 2005). Her hats
are also personal and she wears many different ones. She wears hats
like gangsters, e.g. in the Prince copy scene, and like traditional
Hip Hoppers, e.g. in the beauty salon. Most personal of it all is probably
her jewelry. Her big earrings and necklace carries her initials and
a large diamond in her ear and they all symbolize that she has got a
lot of money and can afford it. She wears the fashion of a modern Hip
Hopper, but she also combines the traditional Hip Hop clothes with main
stream fashion e.g. the track suit in brown and pink is an example of
a combination of colors that were in fashion world wide when the video
References in the video
There are several references in the video. At the very start the setting
of the deserted, spooky playground is taken from Terminator II, starring
Arnold Schwarzenegger. Later the attractive man in the restaurant looks
through his glass and sees Halle Barry. Missy Elliot also uses the video
to pay respect and to pay tribute to two former artists that she worked
with before they died at young ages, R&B star Aaliyah and former
star of the R’n’B/hip-hop group TLC, Lisa "Left Eye"
Lopez. But Missy does not only show respect to other artists, on traditional
Hip Hop manner she is also disrespecting another artist. It is Prince
that she both literal and figurative is disrespecting. Another reference
she is using is the famous body language of Michel Jackson, when he
grabs his crutch while dancing. This can be seen as she is using a typical
male gesture and thereby acting in a non typical feminine way.
Symbols in the video
The video is fast and includes many different scenes, characters and
symbols. It can be interpret as Missy Elliot tries hard to communicate
and that she has many standpoints in the video. In the beginning is
there a scene with bees included. Thus shows Missy right from the start
that she is busy as a bee. The bee crawls all over her, even in her
face while she is the DJ. This is also symbolic that she is in control,
she is in charge. On the other hand is Missy Elliot actually a DJ and
she runs the show. She uses symbol to, in a metaphorical way, explain
how she experiences, or want us to experience, her current life. Later
there is a scene where she swallows a plastic toy car, a Lamborghini.
By consuming this luxury car she express that she consume luxury, but
it does not mean anything to her, it is unimportant. There is a scene
where she uses American soldiers and the American flag. There are some
strong symbols, especially in a time when America is in war. The flag
represents everything that many people value about there country. One
of the strongest symbolic scenes is when a colored man and a, what looks
like, a 19. Century man is in an older, nicely decorated room. The younger,
black man that wears a headscarf calls the older, white man with the
white wig master. Then he hits him in the face and by doing so the white
man looses his moustache and he turns black. In older movies white men
used to color there faces and take the role of black men. Here are the
roles the other way around and it can symbolize that times are changing.
In the scene where the men with different nationalities line up there
are silhouettes of tiny pin up girls covering the wall behind them.
It can be a symbol used to increase the feeling that also in this scene
are the roles changed. Only this time it is the sex-roles that are changing.
It is the men, not women that are portrayed as decoration in a line.
This line looks like a witness confrontation line that is used in police
stations which can symbolize that the men are in a vulnerable and exposed
Key scenes in the video
Bee queen (0:27 minutes in the video)
Both in lyrics and in pictures Missy Elliot shows that she is the star.
She is controlling the situation. She is portrayed as a bee queen, and
there is only one queen in the bee society. But she is not only portrayed
as a bee queen, Missy is also the DJ. This is very unusual as most DJ:s
today are male. She combines being a woman today and being the DJ. “The
DJ role presents a point of contention for women because of the DJ's
necessary interactions with technology, which in itself works against
the norms of femininity. As DJs, women are placed in the centre of a
musical and technological act--two spheres that are usually occupied
by men and in turn, some of their experiences and the challenges they
face in these spaces are
different from those of men. For women, there is a constant mediation
between the conscious stage performance and unconscious gender performance”
(Women's Studies in communication, 2004).
Beauty Salon (01:39 minutes in the video)
Also in the scene in the hair dresser salon Missy Elliot shows her messages
both figurative and literally. The setting is very posh and it looks
like an upper class hair salon. The walls are bright white and almost
glowing and the colors are white and light pastel shades. There are
four lady costumers in the salon and they all look and act alike. Supernatural
long, flattened hair and the same baby green covers to protect their
clothes. They are all slim and look very stylish. The same goes for
their four female hairdressers, only difference is that they have large
afro haircuts and a very short working coat and high heels boats. The
haircuts that the ladies have tells that Missy Elliot both think that
girls shall take care of them selves, be feminine, and do their best
to be fly-girls, but it also shows that she supports the afro American
women and supports them to be proud of their origins. Missy sings into
the camera, she is letting the audience know her statement, she lets
us know what she think and while doing so she wears traditional Hip
Hop clothes and her cap slightly on the side as a Hip Hopper. She combines
traditional Hip Hop with feminine looks of a fly-girl. There is also
a close up of one of the costumer that sings that girls should get styled
(Figure 8). The costumer that sings in the close up is Tweet (Tweet
News, 2005). When the close up singing end starts the whole salon rocking
to Missy Elliot’ music. Symbolizing that they support what she
says and that they support and like her.
Restaurant scene (01:55 and 02:02 minutes in the video)
Missy Elliot and an attractive afro American man sit in a nice restaurant
at a table for two. He has got a well cut suit and discrete earrings
that looks expensive. He wears his hair laid back in small braids. She
sits opposite him and has her hair flat parted down on the side, her
dress is a bit more feminine e-g- she wears a top with a low cut and
she has changed her large earrings and necklace to a more discrete and
feminine necklace. The image tells that she is a fly-girl and she sings
to him and asks if she does not look like a Halle Barry poster. Halle
Barry is known not only for being a celebrity film star, but she is
also a beautiful afro American model. In other words, Missy asks him
if he thinks she looks stunning. The pictures also in this scene go
along with the lyrics. Missy says in the beginning of the scene that
they should get drink themselves drunk to get to know each other better.
When he sees Halle Barry through his glass he shakes his head, looks
at the glass and acts like he thinks is a bit tipsy. Missy Elliot also
sings that he can not find anyone better than her and that she is going
to make him hot “as Las Vegas weather”. He faints when he
hears that. In this scene Missy shows that she can appear like a feminine
fly-girl but she talks in a traditional masculine manner. Traditionally
women do not talk about their sexuality.
The video looks expensive and it is very well directed. Missy Elliot
is a woman that often expresses herself and her standpoints loudly and
it is also true for this video. It contains many messages, but the issue
that I think Missy stresses the most is that women should take care
and be proud of themselves and she wants more equality in society. Studies
have demonstrated that both women and men portrayed in the media reflect
gender stereotypes (Courtney and Whipple, 1983) and therefore is her
standpoint even more controversial. She expresses her own sexuality
and encourages other women to do so as well. One example is the scene
that she sings about shaving and blows something that looks like a fury
ball towards the camera. Nevertheless, she also shows a lot of different
styles and fashion. Her sporty tracksuits are in different colors and
cuts and she combines traditional hip hop clothes with her own personal
style. She encourages women to take care and be “fly girls”,
to get their hair and nails done and so on. The men, on the other hand,
are portrayed more as objects. For example, the man from the restaurant
and the car scene is just a counterpart to Missy Elliot. He has nothing
to communicate; instead he just reflects what she expresses and nothing
more. Furthermore are the guys, lined up next to each other, another
example that not goes in line with how traditional sex-roles are portrayed.
Especially in hip hop videos are women often portrayed as the objects
or as decoration. Here is it the other way around. In Work It Missy
Elliot is doing her part to make sex role stereotypes more equal.
List of References
Adidas (2005) Respect line.
American-Australian Slang Dictionary (2002) Fly-girl
Chart Communications (2005). Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez FAQs
Courtney, A.E., and Whipple, T.W. (1983). Sex stereotyping in advertising.
Lexington, MA. Lexington Books.
Curve (2004). Interview titled “Show me the money” with
singer Miss Money in the Journal Curve, 14 (5): 36, August 2004. Publisher:
Dream Moods (2005). Information about bees.
Hallewood (2000). Halle Berry FAQs
Prince.org Online Fan Community (2004). Prince FAQs
Red Hot Online –The Key To The Underground (2005). About Missy
Rock On The Net (2005). Aaliyah FAQs
Rock On The Net (2005). Missy Elliot FAQs
The Sunday Observer (2001). Information about bee society.
The Swedish School Net (2005) Information about drones.
Teen Stars Online (2004) Information about Alyson Stone
Tweet News (2005) Information about Charlene L. Keys with the nickname
Women's Studies in Communication (2004). Titled “Sisterdjs in
the house: electronic/dance music and women-centered spaces on the net”
in the Journal Women's Studies in Communication, 27 (2): 236, June 2004.
Publisher: Organization for Research on Women and Communications.
Wikipedia –the fre Encyklopedia (2005). Red light district