Erykah Badu has managed to stir up controversy after she released her new video “Window Seat” early Saturday Morning. In the video, which was shot Guerrilla-style in one take, she walks along Dealey Plaza in Dallas and sheds her clothes until she is completely nude. At the end of the video, a gun shot can be heard and she falls near the place where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated followed by a narrated statement about “Groupthink”. What is that exactly?
Just wondering if you were going to post Erykah Badu’s new video “Window Seat”. Erykah had a good debate going on about it on twitter. The first thing I yelled when I saw it was, “What in the worlllllddd is she doing!?” Of course that ended up being the purpose of the video; to challenge how we think as an individual. I’m a media major so I’ve studied groupthink as a theory in a class of mine. Basically it’s when a group is trying to reach a consensus or decision without conflict. The decisions can often be faulty because individuality or outside opinion is limited with the way the group thinks as a whole.
In regards to Erykah’s video, groupthink defines societal norms. When someone steps outside of those norms they are deemed different (or wrong) by the society as a whole. People tend to shun Erykah as an artist without listening first because she’s different. I know most readers will comment that they listen to her, but they are a part of the group that doesn’t think positively of societies definition of ‘good’ music. You see all types of evidence of groupthink in governmental decisions and in the media daily. Erykah just wanted to stress that being an individual and doing what you feel is right is okay, but to remember that you need to think about what you are in the process. It’s all about rising above general opinion and consensus.
The one thing I’ve found was that it’s hard to strip down all the layers that have been piled on by every outside influence to really answer the question “Who am I?” I think the video is allowing a lot of people to think about that. Kind of makes me want to grab a window seat, ride, and ponder over some things.
I actually had to re-evaluate my own life after watching it this weekend. The significance of her nudity is that it symbolized being stripped of her insecurities. Stepping out of the box and daring to be different instead of conforming to what society and our culture expects from us.
I can definitely appreciate the message in this video.