Camouflage as Communicator of Survivor Mentality in Contemporary Popular Music: Destiny's Child on the Cusp of Gender, Urban-Combat Attitude, Fashion and Politics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearch

Michael A. Langkjær wants to know why military style in general and camouflage in particular have become true pillars of pop and rock culture. How is this prolonged influence to be explained? He places rock and camouflage in the larger framework of "military rock" since the sixties. Contrary to what is generally accepted, the uniform-look as a sign of protest was an exception rather than the rule. Uniforms were popular because they provided a visual rallying point, projected an image of masculinity and eroticism and referred to fighters of times past (image promoted by movies). They were also used as identification marks in the transatlantic battle opposing various music groups. The military look transmitted a political message and the camouflage style referred to the Mods' parkas. The permanent influence of the camouflage look is indissolubly linked to revolution, to resistance fighters and to the mystique of urban guerilla, particularly with the Afro-Americans. According to Michael Langkjær women use the look as a symbol of newly-found female empowerment. The aesthetic aspect is not to be forgotten either, as the prints are quite seductive. Ecology also plays a part, with the recycling of camouflaged garments sold in army surplusses. Emo-tv links camouflage to survival, as in the clip "Survivor" by Destiny's Child, in which the concept of the American frontier is glorified.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Symposium 'Camouflage takes centre stage,' Brussels, October 13-15, 2010
EditorsIlse Bogaerts, Werner Palinckx
Number of pages9
Place of PublicationBrussels/Bruxelles/Brussel
PublisherRoyal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History, Brussels/Musée royal de l'Armée et d'Histoire militaire à Bruxelles/Koninklijk Museum van het Leger en de Krijgsgeschiedenis te Brussel
Publication date2014
ISBN (Print)2-87051-056-X
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventCamouflage takes centre stage : International Congress on Uniforms - Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History, Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 13 Oct 201015 Oct 2010


ConferenceCamouflage takes centre stage
LocationRoyal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History

ID: 123392330