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Lo-Rider gives us the “Skinny”

Date: January 28, 2008 | Posted By:

I came across this music video a little while ago, courtesy of my trusty sidekick, YouTube. Here’s the censored version, but it is still naughty and potentially NSFW (not safe for work):

YouTube Preview Image

What do you guys think about this song and its video? I’m somewhat on the fence about it. On one hand, I do think the women in the video are stunning, and it’s certainly a change from the totally desexualized fat woman image. On the other hand, I don’t think the solution to that is to sexualize women of all sizes equally. On one hand it shows the women in a sexualized domestic setting, which is sexist. On the other hand, it doesn’t demonize the men in the video who are attracted to larger women. On one hand, it shows the women eating, which to me brings up the question of feederism or fetishism. On the other hand — I don’t know. It’s fruit! It’s healthy!

So are kudos in order, or are you concerned? Tell me all about it.

–A. I.




What Do You Think?

10 Responses to Lo-Rider gives us the “Skinny”

  1. W on 01-28-2008

    I have mixed feelings about this video, also. Yes, it's nice to see a representation of larger women feeling strong about their sexual allure and sexuality in a rock video, it's just too bad the creators chose to make a video that comes off looking like a cheap cheesy porn video. Eg: Peaches dripping with a white substance (oh aren't you clever), a well endowed rolling pin (in your dreams boys. You are not that endowed. Rolling pin girl is also, of course, stroking the rolling pin over and over and over, thereby doing all the work while all of the boys get to watch her sweat it out over the dough, no doubt. Not only does she take care of all of your house cleaning and baking needs, she'll also be sure to pleasure you at the same time. )

    What's in it for her exactly? Seems like she's doing all the work.

    This video emphasizes to me, unfortunately, that men and women still don't want to evolve past these gender stereotype roles.

    On the flip side, I do think these women have sex appeal, and I think this is portrayed in small flashes throughout the video with some of the slow mo shots of beautiful faces, wind blown hair etc, however, I also think this videos over the top portrayal of larger women overplaying the tempestuous sex kitten sets them up for ridicule, and, unfortunately, may also turn them into finger pointing laughable material that may come from both genders who are not open to sensuality coming in all sizes. When I watch this video I want to protect them from the ridicule I know will come. I really don't want to see larger women who are attractive, like these women are, set up for that kind of judgment.

    If these guys really wanted to make the point that they are turned on by larger women they would have placed themselves in the video expressing their appreciation through facial expressions and a desire to be in closer physical proximity to these women etc. Instead, like the true men they are not, they hide behind the washing machine. At the end of the video they look at each other and chuckle. It's not an appreciative chuckle, it's also not a wipe-at-their-appreciative-sweaty-from-excitement-brow kind of chuckle, either. Instead, I get the impression it is a chuckle of humor about what they have just witnessed.

    I have googled the song lyrics. Part of the message that sets all women up as targets to be demeaned is in the rap portion of the song which, unfortunately, is not documented on the internet so far. From what I can make out the rap portion of the song sings,

    "I need a fat cow, someone I can hold."

    Yeah, I can't wait to line up and be held by that guy. I am certain I'd rather let the washing machine get me off every night instead.
  2. browne on 02-02-2008

    My issues I have with this as that while its great that all sizes can be viewed as sexy how ground breaking is it to sexualize a woman of color, all women of color are either sexualized or turned into mammy regardless of size. For a white woman I guess this might be groundbreaking, but again it's like women are objects.

    If I were a young big girl I may be happy to see my image in a different light, but as a feminist. I'm offended.

    But I could see how some people might view this as a step forward, but if you critique it, its not.

    Women being described as appliances tools to polish off your penis?!!!

    The two women were cute though.

    Browne
  3. aisaacs on 02-03-2008

    W,

    I agree with a lot of what you were saying. Your underscoring of gender roles in the music video I think is especially important. However, according to the lyrics site I was looking at, the line was "need a fat girl" not "need a fat cow". I prefer that translation, of course.

    Also, your interpretation of the look the two guys give each other is interesting, but I disagree somewhat. It seems like they have been hiding out, maybe "snuck on to the set" or something, and were happy to have gotten away with it. I mean, it's still creepy in an Oedipal way, but I think it is meant to be a little more innocent.

    Browne,

    Thank you for your comments. It is of course necessary to look at this from an intersectional point of view, taking in to account issues of race and class, not just gender. It is sickening to be bombarded with the modern interpretation of the mammy stereotype (Big Momma's House, Aunt Jemima, just about everything Eddie Murphy has done recently) as well as the jezebel (seen often nowadays in music videos and print advertisements).

    I had hesitated to comment on the races of the women because the first woman was the only woman of color featured. That might have been an oversight, because I must admit I am uncomfortable with the fact that she is shown first, doing low status domestic work-- as if to say that not only will she satisfy you sexually, she will clean up afterwards.

    However, I am sad to say that it certainly is not groundbreaking for women to be perceived as objects. While the constructions of "white female sexuality" and "black female sexuality" have followed different trajectories, one shared trait is that both groups have been denied agency by dominant culture.

    The whole music video is pseudo-empowerment as interpreted by a male band, in a male-dominated industry. It's girl power through a male lens. And it's important to note that both you, Browne, and W did not buy into the (false?) flattery. "Gee thanks guys, making me feel so good about my body and then making me wear lingerie when I do chores."
  4. Heidi on 02-05-2008

    Wow, that video is really offensive. Are we really so desperate for positive images of plus-size women that we will accept anything? Women deserve better than having to think this is progress.
  5. RW on 02-07-2008

    Refer to my comments just made on your recent post about the 'Look Good Naked' series. There's a backlash against the 'thin-is-good' message. So the best way to keep women disempowered is simply to change the rules - so perhaps thin is no longer simply best - but so long as the ideal isn't achievable (each ideal conflicts with other ones) then there's no change to the overall situation.

    This is NOT progress, even if it feels like it at first. I have an image of prisoners feeling elation at being allowed out of their windowless cells into a small sunny open high-walled courtyard, where soon the grass will be trodden to dust and rain and snow will fall.
  6. agent on 02-14-2008

    What exactly was the point of this video?
  7. Krystal on 02-17-2008

    I'm 50/50 on the video as most of you are. Reasons for why I'm not too fond of this video have already been posted so I don't think I need to repeat it. Though I don't think I read that the video showing these women doing chores around a house is discriminating. Men could also be doing these jobs, so why show only women doing them?

    Anyways, the main reason I like this video is because it's showing that women of different sizes and race can be sexy.
  8. Vega on 02-20-2008

    I'm going to go with my first impression. My instant reaction is that they were making fun of plus-size women by juxtapositioning them against the song "Skinny." It reminded me of kids in a high school talent show who dressed up as grannies (canes, gray wigs, etc.) and danced to "I'm Too Sexy."

    We see this in movies all the time... plots where men are shown as terrified or hysterical when a larger women is sexual towards them or they take a larger woman home from a bar only to be horrified the next morning.

    And everything - even the self-pleasure - seemed to be aimed at pleasing the domestic and voyeuristic needs of men, so overall... it seemed like they were showing women in domestic roles ready to please men yet because they were plus-size, they were seen as something to be laughed at and/or horrified by. For me, it was the typical "fat chick" stereotype of being desperately greedy for attention, willing to do anything for it including housework, and still not really being worth male attention other than to be seen as a joke.
  9. Sibylla on 03-02-2008

    I don't like the video at all. Objectifying larger women is no better than objectifying thin women. The end result is the same: the women is a sex object and nothing more.
  10. Denise on 04-19-2008

    I agree entirely with Sibylla. Whether the women in this video were "plus-sized" or "emaciated," or anywhere in between, the images in this video are blatant objectification and hypersexualization. Besides, with the song playing in the background, are they really showing large and lovely women in a positive light? I think they're mocking their weight; the intended effect seems to be laughter (first at the irony of the song and image combined, but then isn't it only a small step toward derision?)