Maroon 5’s single Animals is another worrying trend of a music video that dehumanizes women. This essay will dive into the important intersections between the portrayal of animals and women in contemporary western society. In detail, how the video depicts them being oppressed and exploited through the pervasiveness of their body-only representation for entertainment purposes.
The Maroon 5 song “Animals” portrays a woman as a sex object. Although that idea now dominates in so many pop songs, there’s a twist, the video is about a violent animal attraction with Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine as the stalker. He is shown as a butcher who starts stalking a woman after she has visited his shop. He starts fantasizing about her. He follows her everywhere, in streets, in parties, even at her home in her bedroom. He takes photographs and collects them at his shop. He hangs her photographs all over and observes them minutely. The video turns upsetting when is combined with the nearness of bunches of creature remains and overflowing measures of blood on close bare bodies. He dances and sings around the meat of animals. Finally, the video shows the pair having sex together in a blood-bath.Order now
The song’s interpretation is rather simple. Maroon 5 are very well-known artists to use ‘lust’ as a key point in many of their songs. This song in particular largely focuses on the sexual tension between the singer and his ‘muse’. The singer/stalker is trying to imply that the partner in question is a ‘prey’ of his and regardless of how much ever this ‘prey’ might deny their animal instincts, they’ll give in at some point. He then proceeds to draw the comparison between the ‘hunter’ and the ‘prey’ by putting emphasis on their sexual chemistry. He ‘the creature’ part of the tune is the regular nature in all people when we desire for sex.
The chorus repeats throughout the music video, and it tags along a rough visual of the “romance” in the moment of a serious situation. In addition, the use of beef cuts to be compared to human interaction is ridiculously appalling and sexual. The second part of the chorus ends by expressing the whole idea of stalking a lot more clearly to the audience, “Maybe you think that you can hide / I can smell your scent from miles”, this line shows the disturbing message of a stalker invading privacy. In the last part of the chorus, it shows how the stalker is becoming really attached and won’t give up until he wons over his victim, “Yeah you can start over, you can run free / You can find other fish in the sea”. The whole sentence illustrates the need for the woman to be “free” and away from the scenario but then is seized back into the arms of the stalker, “You can pretend it’s meant to be / But you can’t stay away from me”. Here it brought back the darkness and creepiness of the stalker’s perspective. The last part shows the stalker’s fantasy to be revealed that he is needy, “I can still hear you making that sound / Taking me down, rolling on the ground”. Then provokes the idea of preying on this poor woman in the music video as if she couldn’t escape his attention, “You can pretend that it was me / But no”.
It is clear that the singer is trying to win over a girl who is playing hard to get. The man’s own ego and confidence denies him of the rejection he’s received. Adam is playing off someone who won’t answer to “no.”
The objectification of women in society through the entertainment media, specifically music videos has been exploited thoroughly. Women and animals have been the main focus of the story since it was validated by the pervasiveness of such mass media representations, and subsequently the iconographies of the animalized woman and the sexualized animal seep seamlessly into the dark video, becoming troublingly accepted as ‘the norm’. The song and video provocatively equate stalking and sexual violence with romance, adopting predatory language to articulate the male pursuit of a woman.
The key danger here, inevitably, is that ‘Animals’ may promote the normalisation of such violence against women, and indeed exposure enabled by the fame of the band and the infamy of their lead singer may even transform that which is deeply disturbing into something which has been recast as desirable. The male has the power in the story which itself is describing the hyper-masculinity of the character. Moreover, there are several very dangerous attitudes associated with hyper-masculinity when it is performed. Insensitive attitudes towards sex is one danger that could lead to sex acts becoming more aggressive and a depersonalized act in general. Violence and toughness were exhibited in the video which relays that verbal and or physical aggression is an acceptable expression over others along with the belief that anger is the only legitimate emotion males can show, eluding to any other expression of emotion as feminine or as a weakness.
The video depicts Adam Levine as a psychopathic butcher obsessed with one of his clients. Controversial images that provoked a great deal of controversy among those who see signs of sexual harassment and inappropriate treatment of women are depicted in the music video. Be that as it may, if genders were to be flipped the outcome would not be significantly different. If Levine were to be the customer and the girl the stalker, he would commonly report being followed, or spied on. Probably received unwanted phone calls, or messages, but nothing like breaking the privacy of his home or, in worst case scenario, get raped since women do not tend to follow that type of behaviour pattern. In either case, the story would be plausible to some degree. If the girl would in Levine’s shoes, she would definitely not be lurking around him, curling up next to his sleeping body in bed and bathing with him in a shower of blood yet that would not stop her from fantasizing about the gory, bloody sex scene.
The Maroon 5 video is a dangerous depiction of a stalker’s fantasies. No one should confuse the criminal act of harassment with romance. Hence, Animals is about highlighting the intricacies of speciesism and sexism. Levine’s persona in the video as a creepy and sinister Butcher/stalker is an eroticisation of male power, and is something which should be critiqued, not celebrated.