Zayn Malik's "Pillowtalk" Follows In The Footsteps Of These Stars Who Went Risqué For Reinvention
There comes a time in every child star's life when they must decide to make the conscious decision to be an adult. Whether that means a string of salacious tabloid events, or starring in a racy film, each person must choose the path for themselves. Now, don't get me wrong. There are obviously more ways to gracefully transition from teen heartthrob into full-fledged adult entertainer; it just seems like not many stars take the road less traveled. With the release of Zayn Malik's solo single, "Pillowtalk," the singer is no longer safe for little ears and eyes. In fact, he was almost unsafe for my ears and eyes. Malik is not the first star to cross the boundaries into using some f-bombs and throwing some nudity into his videos for added adult content, and he sure won't be the last.
Stars who are marketed toward children early on in their career seem to feel the need to go a little overboard on the sexy meter to prove they are no longer children. From Miley Cyrus to Selena Gomez — and, of course, who can forget the disappearance of the Jo Bro's purity rings — there have been many "good girl/boy" images shed abruptly over the years. Here are just a few of the music videos that marked the beginning of career adulthood for many stars.
1. "Wrecking Ball" By Miley Cyrus
Licking sledgehammers and riding on wrecking balls naked? It doesn't get more adult than that. While Cyrus has had her fair share of wild antics since this video was released, this was the first sign of life after Disney for her.
2. "Jealous" By Nick Jonas
OK, so if you have only heard the radio edit of this song, you're probably very confused right now. No worries, I'll explain. While the radio version is very friendly and harmless, the original version of the song is a little more risque. The f-bomb is given free reign, and he's a little more specific about what everybody wants from the girl he's singing about.
3. "Rumors" By Lindsey Lohan
Lindsay Lohan should never have released an album in the first place. She's a great actress, but her music was never my favorite thing. Because, unfortunately, the result was this attempt to guilt trip the paparazzi and break out of her child star image.
4. "What Do U Mean" By Justin Bieber
Bieber worked basically all of 2015 to ensure that no one thought he was a child any longer, and this video was just a visual confirmation. I've known for a while he is not the canadian kid in the purple hoodie (which I miss) we all grew to love, but the video was still a little bit of a shock to my system. I was like, "Baby, baby, baby nooo." I couldn't resist.
5. "Leavin" By Jesse McCartney
Remember how Jessie spent one minute telling every girl how beautiful her soul was, but then the next second he was convincing his lover to leave her boyfriend for him. At least that's how fast his transition felt. I still miss me some classic McCartney.
6. "Hands To Myself" By Selena Gomez
I love this song, but it is a bit sexier than we're used to seeing from Gomez. She has admitted that this album is more adult in nature, and a reflection of where she is at in life, which is not a child star.
7. "Like I Love You" By Justin Timberlake
This was Justin's first single after leaving *NSYNC, and, let's be real, this wasn't as bad as riding a wrecking ball while naked. But it did make sure that Timberlake was no longer viewed as the cute boy from *NSYNC — he was officially a man.
It's hard for stars to break out of the child mold without going off the deep end, but it is possible. Hilary Duff did it. Josh Peck did it. I'm hoping stars like Zendaya and Joey King will be able to do it too, when the time comes. But, for now, we can wait expectantly for the rest of the One Direction boys to drop their post-boy band risque singles as well. It's only a matter of time.