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popstars, the brand new masterminds?

Topics of research in prestigious universities, stars corresponding to Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Harry Types assist to decipher up to date society. Empowerment, self-reinvention, love life… What if celebrities had been our life coaches?

“What’s Beyoncé the identify of?» : that is the query posed, till February, by a hair-raising seminar given on the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Paris. As a result of the pop star with 200 million albums bought worldwide has change into an actual object of research for the very critical road college in Ulm – and it is a hit, given the crowded lecture halls. The ambition of this program? “Apprehend in a multidisciplinary anchoring the problems raised by the creative orientation of the singer, each within the historical past of artwork, up to date literature, the historical past of thought and philosophy.” Mazette!

In video, Break My Soul, the clip of Beyoncé

Right here in Europe, ranging from a pop icon to replicate, for instance, “on the notions of tradition and representativeness” appears comparatively new within the educational world. This isn’t the case within the Anglo-Saxon world, the place cultural research are widespread – a legacy of the postmodern method to French Concept (Michel Foucault, are you there?). These days, programs on pop stars are flourishing in educational establishments throughout the Atlantic. In early 2022, singer Taylor Swift was the topic of a course on the Clive Davis Institute at New York College. And, on this month of January, Texas State College is providing twenty fortunate folks the chance to debate the epistemological points within the life and work of British singer Harry Types… What if Beyoncé, Taylor and Harry certainly allowed to decode our up to date world? Higher, if, utilizing us as fashions, these celebrities gave us keys to maneuver ahead, improve, disrupt? Private improvement roadmap within the fashion of the celebrities.

Increase your empowerment

Who higher than Beyoncé to encourage us? Since 2014 and her efficiency on the MTV Video Music Awards (through which she appeared on stage in entrance of the phrase FEMINIST in large letters), Beyoncé has by no means ceased to assert the heritage of feminist struggles, borrowing specifically from the Nigerian militant author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (on his title Flawless, in 2013). Adored, highly effective, she has change into the incarnation of the pop model of this combat, placing again, because of her media firepower (286 million followers on Instagram), the phrase feminism on the coronary heart of debates and within the ears of the youth. Due to Queen Bey, feminisms are now not the prerogative of educational and militant spheres, everybody can seize it. On the threat of creating it simply one other advertising and marketing label?

“Beyoncé is consistently reinventing herself, it is an insanely related object of research.” Kevin Winter/ AFP

This isn’t the opinion of Joël Zouna, a scholar within the second yr of geography and a grasp’s diploma in geopolitics, on the origin of the ENS seminar (with Valentine Truchard and Victor Kandelaft). For this massive fan of the American singer, “we can’t freeze Beyoncé in an analytical framework… A studying solely Bourdieusian or cultural research wouldn’t be appropriate, as a result of Beyoncé is consistently reinventing herself, it’s an object of research of insane relevance. Barthesian mythology, artist in addition to model, its affect radiates all through the world and consecrates it as a metonymy of the fashionable and capitalist world”. And an actual supply of emancipation for younger ladies right this moment, for whom the notion of empowerment (an idea born in america in a context of social struggles, and which designates the seizure of energy by people for them -same, Editor’s word) now not holds any secrets and techniques. “Who runs the world? Ladies!” (“Who runs the world? Ladies!”), as our feminism instructor, Beyoncé, would say.

Take management of your love life

By way of “lose” love, Taylor Swift, American singer with 50 million albums bought worldwide, arises there. On his record, nearly every little thing that American popular culture has of good-looking, muscular and well-liked children. Choose for your self: Taylor Lautner (seen within the saga Twilight), Joe Jonas (from the Jonas Brothers), Harry Types (One Route interval)… Non-exhaustive record. Nevertheless, every time, the relationships fizzle out. Heartbroken little Taylor Swift, 33, makes use of this tear materials to put in writing her revenge hits. Jake Gyllenhaal paid the value (within the title All Too Nicely, launched almost ten years after their temporary relationship). Accused of being poisonous, the actor of Donnie Darko is then “trolled” from all sides on the networks by the hysterical followers of the singer. As a result of Taylor is an actual love guru for many who are unfortunate in love, the “swifties” even use the lyrics of his hits to kind out their future appointments on Tinder!

In video, Taylor Swift hears her track for the primary time on the radio

Final November, a development emerged on TikTok, the favourite app for 12-25 yr olds. We see quick movies depicting exchanges of messages between a Taylor fan and a boyfriend potential. As a way to make sure that the boy is delicate and clever, the woman sends him excerpts of lyrics from songs speaking about emotions or deception… It is as much as him to finish with the remainder of the verses! Those that perceive the method are more likely to “match”, the others are zapped…

Admit your weaknesses to change into stronger

We all know that stars are successful machines – properly, not solely. In a latest documentary out there on Netflix (Miss Americana, 2020), Taylor Swift opens up in regards to the consuming problems she suffered from for years, discovering herself “by no means skinny sufficient”. She additionally evokes a poisonous leisure tradition for younger ladies, particularly by way of social networks. His sincerity doubled the ability of his message. For Jean-Victor Blanc, doctor-psychiatrist at Saint-Antoine Hospital in Paris, instructor at Sorbonne College and creator of the e-book Pop & Psy (Éditions Plon, 2019), stars can play a key position in media protection and acceptance of psychological sickness – we consider Britney Spears or Selena Gomez, who helped carry bipolar dysfunction to mild. “Taylor Swift does not glamorize the topic of anorexia and consuming problems in any respect. And in doing so, she shatters the parable of the right star.” For him, there’s a “actual emotional connection between the star and his followers, a phenomenon of identification. When a beloved particular person carries a taboo topic like that of psychological well being, it is going to change the way in which through which we apprehend it. And that is very optimistic.” Memo: the superwoman doesn’t exist.

Fork to search out your true self

At first of the yr, a college in Texas is providing a course known as “Harry Types and the Cult of Superstar”. For Louie Dean Valencia, the historical past instructor specializing in youth cultures and counter-cultures behind this authentic undertaking: “If the Beatles might help us perceive the Nineteen Sixties, Harry Types is a key to deciphering our The up to date world.” Inclusivity, private emancipation, but in addition clothes fashion: because of our younger wick singer, every little thing lights up. The course will assessment all of the lyrics of Harry’s songs, but in addition his public appearances in live performance, and put them into perspective. Louie Dean Valencia: “Harry Types is an efficient case research. For younger folks, it represents the opportunity of a extra democratic, extra inclusive area for expression.”

The pop star, who has change into a sought-after actor, seems in non-gendered outfits signed Gucci, with out essentially having to justify himself. Let it’s mentioned, style is political

“He’s a dedicated and clever artist, and this can permit us to speak about a number of topics, corresponding to the precise to dispose of 1’s personal physique – whether or not for the LGBT neighborhood or for girls, when it comes to abortion , for instance – but in addition feminism or… Brexit! As a result of let’s not neglect that Harry Types is a Brit.” Additionally on this system, his readings (he’s a fan of Haruki Murakami in addition to the feminist Susan Sontag, creator of the founder Notes on Camp, in 1964). For the tutorial, the positions taken by Harry Types are a manner of sparking dialog and reflection. And even to rethink notions of latest masculinity and debate “gender fluidity.” Because the One Route years (the boy band of his debut which he left within the mid-2010s), our Harry has asserted himself and emancipated himself. As we speak, the pop star, who has change into a sought-after actor, seems in non-gendered outfits signed Gucci, with out essentially having to justify herself. Let it’s mentioned, style is political.

“If the Beatles might help us perceive the Nineteen Sixties, Harry Types is a key to deciphering our up to date world.” Getty Photographs for ABA

Rotate and purpose for independence

“Pivoting” is a time period usually utilized by startuppers and/or customers of the LinkedIn platform. Mainly, it means taking inspiration out of your failures and throwing every little thing to the nettles to maneuver ahead. And that is sort of what Taylor Swift did. At first of her profitable profession, the singer-songwriter distinguished herself in a really codified and really worthwhile style: nation. Sensing that she will be able to conquer new markets, Taylor Swift adjustments gear and heads for pop. Bingo! For Albéric Tellier, professor of innovation administration at Paris-Dauphine College and creator of New Vibrations. Impressed by rock, pop and hip-hop stars to innovate (Éditions EMS, 2020), Taylor Swift is a textbook case: “From 2011, she determined to utterly renew her groups and her working strategies. All this generates tensions in his entourage, however the outcomes shall be unimaginable.

Higher, our little queen of pop (she can be, in response to Forbes, on the head of a fortune of 570 million {dollars}) seems to be a formidable negotiator. Within the 2010s, Taylor Swift engaged in a showdown with streaming platforms, together with Spotify, demanding extra respect for artists and higher redistribution of copyright. She withdraws her songs from the catalogs, and even indicators a discussion board within the Wall Avenue Journal, claiming that “labels and their artists will at some point determine the value of their albums for themselves”. In 2018, the pop star calls for to personal his “masters”, that’s to say the unique recordings that are used for any future exploitation. And negotiate step-by-step with Spotify. For Albéric Tellier, “Taylor Swift completely understood that the robustness of a enterprise mannequin comes from the possession of key sources and a related financial equation”. Taylor Swift, private administration instructor, who would have thought?


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