Alanis Morissette's "My Humps"

by Daliya Jokondo

The real version can be found here

I love this video for multiple reasons, and yes I am risking my giving Alanis Morissette too much credit, but hell, I’m a fan.

This video could just be a parody, a simple “haha.” However, I say there’s more to it. Alanis’s removal of “fancy” beat and making the song into a simple ballad brings home the ridiculousness of the song. In addition, Alanis’s haunting vocals gives the song a whole new meaning, because the song almost exhumes a sad and heart breaking tone.
It stops being just a parody and I am forced to take a closer look at what songs like “My Humps” can do to a woman’s view of herself, her dignity, her worth. Fergie sing flirtatiously and delightfully about using her body to get what she wants. She flaunts about saying you can look but you can’t touch while using seduction for materialistic gains. This is supposed to be a “fun song” to dance to. Yet it’s degrading on multiple levels. I can’t get past the words and say this is just fun, this is just good fun dance song.

What is fun or even remotely fine with a man saying to a woman:
“What u gon’ do with all that ass?
All that ass inside them jeans?”
or
“What you gon’ do wit all that breast?
All that breast inside that shirt?”

You can find the rest of the lyrics here
Fergi’s song (and the Black Eyed Peas) in all of it’s playful dance beats, is just plain sad.

And this can be said for a magnificent amount of music these days when it comes to the portrayal of women.

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3 thoughts on “Alanis Morissette's "My Humps"

  1. I agree. I also think it’s a critique of the way critics have constructed the female singer-songwriter and Alanis herself — weak, emotional, pathologized, needy, etc. — a representation that is just as one-dimensional as the sexed-up diva persona that Fergie performs. By bringing these two stereotypes into conversation with each other, it provides in an interesting commentary on both of them and complicates the picture.
    I actually wrote about this in my own blog (perverseadult.blogspot.com).
    ~tim j-y

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