If you have any doubt in your mind that keeps you from realizing that Christina Aguilera's "Can't Hold Us Down" is a feminist anthem, then clearly you should consider taking a closer listen to the lyrics. Oh, and while you're at it, definitely check out the music video. At first glance, it seems like just another day in a super vivid New York City neighborhood (that is actually filmed on a backlot in Los Angeles, because that is clearly the same building that serves as the exterior of Angel Investigations' offices in Season 1 of Angel) — but this is Aguilera we’re talking about here, so obviously there’s more than meets the eye.
In addition to being a visual representation of girl power in action, Aguilera follows the theme of the song by calling out guys who perpetuate one-sided sexist beliefs, double standards, and various other forms of misogynistic lameness. Having said that, it's even more refreshing to know that the “Can’t Hold Us Down” video was directed by a man, David LaChapelle: In addition to being LaChappelle’s way of paying homage to Manhattan’s Lower East Side with an ‘80s theme, the video is also a pretty straightforward way of bringing light to the fact that the gender equality struggle is still very real and alive. It also demonstrates how women supporting themselves and each other in the name of feminism is extremely necessary.
So, now do you guys understand just how awesome this song is? Maybe these nine moments you probably forgot about the “Can’t Hold Us Now” video will help with that:
These Two Knuckleheads
Seriously, guys? Throwing milk cartons off a balcony is super rude and lame.
The Anti-Drug PSA
Aguilera's Dark Hair
Up until this point, Aguilera had mostly dabbled in various shades of blonde hair, except for when she mixed it up by rocking black and blonde dreads — but this was her first time going all the way dark.
Her All-Purple Wardrobe
Socks and high heels isn't the most fashion-forward look, but, considering the sheer girl power promoted in this song and video, all is forgiven.
Aguilera Going One-On-One Against This Creepy Guy
Women all around the world felt Aguilera's pain with this one. This scene does an excellent job of illustrating precisely why street harassment is not a compliment.
The Lil' Kim Cameo
Lil' Kim's feminist rap was essential to this track, and her sassy, Queen Bee attitude breathed even more life into the video.
The Water Hose Scene
Sure, it's just water, but all the women watching this know there's an underlying, empowering message that goes so much further here.
This Kid Moonwalking Like A Pro
Totally random moment here, but his skills deserve to be acknowledged.
Aguilera's Amazing Walk
Sorry guys, but I will never get enough of Christina's runway-ready walk.
Relive the video below.
Images: CAguileraVEVO/YouTube (10)