There’s a She-Wolf in the Closet

I am not ashamed to admit that I am enamoured of the song ‘She Wolf’ by Shakira. Not only does it find a convincing rhyme for ‘lycanthropy’ but she looks fierce in the video. (I am also not ashamed to admit that I use the word ‘fierce’ non-ironically in my day-to-day life).

In fact, I am generally all for lycanthropic ladies. I have previously mentioned my love of Florence + the Machine’s ‘Howl’ and my ensuing disappointment that she never made a video for this single. Whilst there are some interesting fan made videos- it appears to have been *the* only music video to make for your Media Studies A-level for about two years – it displeases me that the artistic vision of Florence Welch was never applied to this darkly sadistic track.

So it was with great joy that I watched the video for Marika Hackman’s ‘Animal Fear’. The song is gorgeous with lush Gothic undertones behind the lilting guitar melody. It is quite overtly about werewolves as the video makes abundantly clear. I love the 1970s technicolour aesthetic to the blood splatter and Hackman’s Teen-Wolfesque transformation. In an interview she gave to DIY Magazine about this album, she explicitly states that the song was inspired by werewolves. The album artwork, which she describes as being inspired by the television series True Detective, has a film noir/Southern Gothic sensibility. (I’m sure Elisabeth Bronfen would have a lot to say about the abundance of female ‘corpses’ in these shots).

These songs show the power of the female werewolf in the artistic imagination. (I will now pause to state: if you haven’t read Clemence Housman’s ‘The Werewolf’ go and do that immediately). With a new publication on entitled She-Wolf: A cultural history of female werewolves coming out this April, there seems no better time to discover why the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

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