Mariah’s perpetual adolescence

For a few weeks I’ve had a theory brewing about the pathology behind Mariah Carey’s stubbornly unchanging artistic choices. Because for years now it’s been butterflies this, butterflies that, blah blah blah. Escaping mansions, emancipation blah blah blah. Apart from the *bizarre* Touch my body with its talk of ‘hunting down’ potential youtube-happy lotharios, nothing has changed at all in her artistic vision. And I can quickly prove it with a quick tour through some key Mariah moments:

1. Honey – video: Escaping evil tyrants in suits who’ve tied her up, diving off the balcony of an island mansion into a pool with high-heels, to then dance with sailors while singing about how she wants their honey all over her. Suggesting that she has more fun with sailors than moguls. Implicit butterfly reference.

2. We belong together – video: Running away from a wedding with a hot guy who’s not the groom, escaping another evil looking mansion, wearing the very same wedding gown worn during her nuptials with Tommy Mottola. They must have adjusted the bust. Themes of escape etc.

3. The Emancipation of Mimi – concept. album: She’s emancipated.
4. Butterfly – video: Running into fields in nightdress, emoting. Suggesting escape, freedom, blah blah blah.

While initially I was trying to connect her butterfly fixation to ideas of the “collector”, and the various creepy serial killer connotations that holds, now a more modest realisation seems  perfectly clear: the one and only theme Mariah has been exploiting for the last decade +  has been her escape from the apparently evil and controlling Tommy Mottola, Sony CEO and ex-husband. There is absolutely nothing else. She hasn’t escaped to anything, she’s just always escaping. The way she frames her career is still about this new freedom that she has, but that’s all. Nothing else. I could speculate further, but the real reason I wanted to write something about Mariah was so I could share Tim’s thoughts on the matter, having captured much more efficiently her essence in this recent communication: 

“I have this idea that when Mariah decides that puppies are no longer puppies and are now ‘dogs’ she drops them down a large in-sink-erator.”


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