In this, I essay I will look into the American singer Adam Lambert and how his music videos, performances and his persona on and off stage tell us about masculinity and sexuality. I will look into how he uses costume design in his music videos to translate his flamboyant persona but still keeping his masculinity in tacked. I will also look into how he portrays and holds his sexuality during his performances and will talk about how his over the top flamboyant style changes from time to time. After appearing on Season Eight of American Idol in 2009 in which he finished as runner-up Lambert rose to fame for his over the top flamboyant but masculine theatrical performance style, He tends to play a great amount of attention to his personal presentation and persona in every detailed aspect. Over the years his fashion trend of style and costume design swaps from one extreme to another and then disappears which at times feels as if either he or his management team are towing him down as a way of playing it safe.
His 2009 American Music Awards performance of “For Your Entertainment” was deemed controversial and shocking for the American audience, this was his first televised performance since the finale of American Idol. During the performance, he aggressively kissed one of the male keyboard players and also simulated oral sex with one of the male backing dancers.The performance wasn’t well received by the American audience, as the show is seen as in one of the least controversial award shows as its primetime television a time slot that may have children watching.The BBC reported that media group, The Parents Television Council (PTC), who is known for campaigning against the indecent imagery that is shown on US television received 1,500 complaints about Lambert’s performance.
The group describes the performance as “tasteless” and “vulgar” in their Statement about the award show (Adam Lambert’s gay kiss, 2009).In an interview after his AMA performance, Lambert told Rolling Stone Magazine: “I’m hoping people were entertained. For those who weren’t, maybe I’m not your cup of tea.” He also spoke about the double standards in the media saying: “Women performers have been pushing the envelope sexually for the past 20 years and all of a sudden a male does it and everybody goes, ‘Oh, we can’t show that on TV’. To me, that’s a form of discrimination and it’s a double standard, and that’s too bad.
” (Adam Lambert’s ‘beyond contemptible, 2009) He also mentioned that censoring the performance would amount to “discrimination”, he added, “shared that famous kiss during the MTV awards show in which. I don’t mean to get political but Madonna, Britney and Christina weren’t edited. It’s a shame.
Female entertainers have been risqué for years. Honestly, there’s a huge double standard.” (American Music Awards: Adam, 2009) As a culture, we celebrate female celebrity divas who own their own original individuality like Gaga, Britney Spears and Madonna but when it comes to an out and proud gay male who celebrates their own individuality it’s very rarely they are treated the same. As a culture we are at times seem to be reluctant to embrace a strong, flamboyant but masculine male performer with Lambert saying himself: “We’re very eager to celebrate a strong female. But to celebrate a fellow gay man–it gets catty sometimes.
” (Cover Guy: Adam Lambert, 2012)Some feel as if he lacks to embrace the gay community, Lambert himself believes that his success after American Idol is not due in part to the fellow gay community. He told Instinct Magazine: “As a community, we’re a little bit resistant to a gay male pop star ourselves.” (Cover Guy: Adam Lambert, 2012)After the American Idol finale Lambert did a cover story for Rolling Stone Magazine in which he for the first time publicly revealed he was gay, stating the reason why he kept his sexuality from public knowledge till after the show the finished was that in fear it would upstage him. With him saying: “I wanted the focus to be on my ability as a singer and as an entertainer, not on my private life, so I chose to kind of ignore the issue until after the voting ended.
” (Adam Lambert: Wild Idol, 2009)Since 2011 he’s collaborated as lead vocalist with rock band Queen and from 2014 to 2017 he joined them on their worldwide tour (Queen + Adam Lambert), he’s constantly being compared to Queen’s late frontman Freddie Mercury. Lambert shares the same ironic flamboyant but masculine personas that Mercury is known for. In all his glittery costume designs and flamboyant sculpted hair, Lambert has become one the main subject of Queen’s active touring since the death of Mercury in 1991. (How Queen + Adam, 2017)