Lipstick and Alter Egos: An investigation into contemporary music branding strategies and modern day feminism
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This dissertation explores whether the use of an alter ego, or second self, can help strengthen an artist’s branding within a contemporary music culture, focusing particularly on Lady Gaga and Beyoncé. In order to do so, the paper will also examine the definition of feminism and post-feminism. The modern day music industry has seen many different artists using alter egos as a means to promote album releases and upcoming tours. Its popularity within the music industry dates back to when David Bowie transformed into Ziggy Stardust. Nowadays, it is so common, that the motives behind an artist’s transformation are unclear. Through the use of Matt Haig’s research into branding, this dissertation will aim to label each case study with a ‘type’ of brand. The other main focus of this dissertation is to understand and categorise feminist values in opposition to post-feminist beliefs. These ideals will be applied to each case study,in order to establish their position in relation to women’s rights. Using textual analysis, this paper will conclude whether Lady Gaga and Beyoncé endorse second wave feminism or the more modern post-feminism. Overall, the findings of this dissertation are that alter egos do in fact help to strengthen an artist’s brand. In doing so, the finished paper contributes original research into alter egos within a contemporary music industry in affiliation with feminism.
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