Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Women's Studies

First Advisor

Layli Maparyan

Second Advisor

Amira Jarmakani

Third Advisor

Jonathan Gayles


This research studied three women who have performed in hip hop music videos. Previous literature concerning these women, including memoirs, men’s magazine interviews, and Black feminist scholarship, has situated them as video vixens, terminology that all three participants disputed applied to them. The research was completed in two parts—a face-to-face phenomenological interview and a semi-structured telephone interview. In the phenomenological interview, the initial question—what are your experiences as a woman who dances/models in music videos?—was posed. The answers ranged from musings about professionalism and the lack thereof in the industry to the politics of skin color and nationality. The semi-structured interview allowed the participants to clarify or expound on experiences they discussed during the first interview.