Pharrell Williams' "Marilyn Monroe" Music Video Proves His Idea of Feminism Still Has a Long Way to Go — VIDEO
It always seems to be one step forward and two steps back when it comes to Pharrell Williams, the Feminist. For every "Blurred Lines" and the ridiculous defense of it, there was a G-rated "Happy" dance-off at the Oscars that featured butt-kicking females like Lupita Nyong'o, Amy Adams, and Meryl Streep. For every female-empowering album like his latest G I R L , there's a music video for his latest single "Marilyn Monroe" that treats women like objects to gawk at instead of the goddesses he's claiming to admire.
The "Marilyn Monroe" video, which was released Wednesday, is a lot of things, but subtle is not one of them. There's obvious sexual imagery everywhere, from fruits that look like parts of the female anatomy to dancer's gyrating movements, and it's pretty clear that Pharrell (still in that hat, of course) really admires women... just not in any kind of groundbreaking or feminist way.
While the video for "Marilyn Monroe" — which features a cameo from Kelly Osbourne, who appears on the track — isn't nearly as detrimental as the "Blurred Lines" clip, at its core it's not much more than Pharrell parading beautiful women around.
Kudos to the musician for featuring women of various backgrounds, for sure, but it's a shame that for the most part, all he's having them do is dance around him in sexy outfits, all while having them give off those vacant, come-hither stares that have stayed the music video status quo since Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love." (There's a quick snippet of non-dancing women doing things like swimming, boxing, and sipping mimosas, followed quickly by non-dancing women spreading their legs and unbuttoning their shirts, so again, that one step forward, two steps back thing.)
Watch the clip here and see for yourself:
The song is, undeniably, about the admiration of beautiful women ("I just want a different girl/Girl, girl, girl" he cries) but when there are lyrics that could actually make a difference like "I put my arms around her, and I promise not to abuse you/ Since now I found you, why the hell would I want to lose you?" why not have an empowering video to match it? Pharrell's video is not abusive toward women, but it implies sexuality is their greatest tool, and that's not doing anyone any favors.