Saturday, July 31, 2010

Blog Post 4: Subverting the Message of "California Gurls" by Katy Perry

This student-created production is covered under the Fair Use codes US copyright law. Specifically, Section 107 of the current Copyright Act and Section 504(c)(2) cover the educational-basis of this video production. The production is intended to be a transformative remake, aiding in both student and public media literacy. The use of copyrighted material is in the service of constructing a differing understanding than the original work, which according to Section 110 (1) (2), is to be treated as a new cultural production. This student-production is in no way limited to the protections provided by the Fair Use codes stated above due to the many other sections of the current US Copyright Act, which also include the principles of Fair Use.

Please refer to Fair Use principles when re-posting, quoting, and/or excerpting the video-production posted here.


  1. Jon, you guys did a really great job revising this video. I'm glad you kept the same song. The message you were sending about how images in the media cause girls to go to drastic lengths to achieve an "ideal" appearance was very clear. I'm also glad that you chose to still incorporate the choreography because it makes the video fun! The use of text was really helpful as you shifted from one topic to the next. Just a couple of minor things I would suggest that may be improved: Some of the images at the end when you were showing "real" California girls were a little confusing, such as the pictures of Barack Obama, Sarah Palin. Also your works cited went by a little fast, and I liked the cool effect you had in your last video. Overall, this was a huge improvement. Good job.

  2. “California Girls”
    Jon, Henry, & Stewart--
    Your revised-remake definitely made a cute and funny video much more message-oriented. I would have liked to see a bit more of the distorted images of “California Gurls” ala Hollywood’s celebrities. However, I think the images you chose were much more suited for the subversive nature of this project!
    The one issue I see here as problematic is after the screen-text where you’ve proclaimed, “there is hope.” Considering the first image is the one from the Dove “Campaign for Real Beauty,” which we discussed in class as a convenient (if not even more insidious due to its claim of “real beauty” and the “messages sent by the beauty industry”) way for Unilever to market another product, when it also owns the Axe brand. That product is one of the biggest proponents of negative images of women in its product marketing campaigns. The overall goal of your video isn’t to propose a solution or hope for the future (if you could have, great, but if not, that’s fine too) because it’s skipping a lot of territory in doing so. The idea that all women from California are “California Gurls” is a bit odd considering, most women, by virtue of the term “woman,” are in fact grown adults, ones who deserve full-adult-personhood and not the label of “girls” at all.

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