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Urban sensualidad: Jennifer Lopez, Flashdance and the MTV hip-hop re-generation

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“Urban Sensualidad” explores how Jennifer Lopez has used the lens of MTV (Music Television) to cultivate a brand of urban sensualidad, a media process that makes hip-hop and urban styles accessible for people from all ranges of the racialized spectrum. Focusing on the film Flashdance (1983) and Lopez's 2003 video homage to the film (“I'm glad”), this article explores MTV's increased emphasis on racialized representation and the complex role that Lopez has played in the mainstreaming and commodification of blackness in the late 1990s and early 2000s. “Urban Sensualidad” questions the paradoxical ways that Lopez has used music videos to maximize her commercial potential with a so-called urban styling of her body-and why it might be so fun to watch her do it.

Keywords: Hollywood film; Latina; MTV; dance; hip-hop; music video; nonwhiteness; racialized representation; racialized sexuality; style; urban

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of English, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA

Publication date: November 1, 2008


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