Hi I'm Bertie, this column is basically a place for me to call bullshit on girl related things I think are stupid.
I'm sorry that you've almost definitely already seen that and now, for the second time in a week, you're probably puking all over your desk at work or too turned on to stand up and run for the fire drill. But there’s a reason why it’s important you re-watch the EXPLICIT version of the Robin Thicke song which just went number 1 in pretty much every country in the world, and that reason concerns the future wellbeing of the entire planet. Or, depending on how you look at it, the future wellbeing of half the global population, because this video is really, really, really sexist. Really.
I'm aware I'm not blowing any minds here. That the video would be interpreted as an offence against women should be obvious to anyone who’s ever met a woman, because feminism is about equality, and watching naked girls dance awkwardly around fully-dressed predatory men while they sing “do it like it hurt” is an incredibly obvious visual imbalance. Think of it as being like equality maths: if X has <1 items of clothing, and Y has >5 items of clothing, then Y is a disgusting creep and should be incarcerated in the PGB jail for morally corrupt scum.
What's worse is that Thicke and his gang of likely lads probably think they're doing something really great for women's rights because their song is all about emancipating a "good girl" from the patriarchal constraints of a domineering partner: "Okay, now he was close, tried to domesticate you / Just let me liberate you / That man is not your maker." So cute, right? So fucking Jimmy Dean. So thanks, Robin! Evidently your song topping the charts all over the planet will free the world's women from the kind of violent or abusive relationships which, hold on, sorry, I got distracted by the, why are they... What are you doing with that... Why isn't she wearing... oh. *dial tone*
I’m not losing my shit and getting all righteous for no reason, I’m serious, this is basically the reckoning and if we don't do something we're going to get sucked down into the void, and then we'll be stuck in a huge, fiery canyon with Hunter Moore and every other douchebag misogynist. Do you really want to spend the rest of your days trapped with men who think it's OK to fart and burp in public and wear the same "comedy T-shirt" for three days straight? Hell is being a woman surrounded by "female body inspectors". (Actually, hell is probably being anyone surrounded by FBIs, but whatever.)
Below is a list of all the reasons why we should all be deeply ashamed that Thicke’s video made it to number 1, or even out of the edit suite. In an ideal world, Thicke and the video’s director, Diane Martel, would read my rundown, recognise all the different ways they just metaphorically burned every single copy of Female Chauvinist Pigs, and apologise. Unfortunately, that’s about as unlikely as the man in question taking the time to explore the difference between female empowerment and exploitation. Who wants to bet he has that model’s nude thong in his pocket right now? Ultimate sadface.
THE VIDEO MAKES ROBIN THICKE LOOK LIKE A PREDATOR
I'm not saying that he is actually a sexual predator in the sense that he might spend his days following women through the underwear section of M&S with his hands in his pockets. But there is something so infuriatingly smug and knowing about his demonic half-smirk and hangover stubble. Somehow, it used to be fully acceptable to stagger around nightclubs raising your eyebrows in a Justin-Timberlake-in-"Senorita" kind of way, but silently tailing naked models, while wearing black aviators, a full suit and that sort of astonished/aroused face reserved solely for perverts makes you look like a sexually aggressive creep.
WHY ARE THEY BRUSHING THEIR HAIR?
What is this about, TI? Is this you misguidedly clawing at what you think might be intimacy? A reference to incestuous father-daughter relationships? The infantilisation of a clearly sexualised model? Ooh, how about a reference to pet maintenance, because "you're an animal", remember? So, IDK, maybe after this TI's gonna clean your pen out, too, Emily Ratajkowski. But only if you're a good girl ;)
I'm sorry, it just makes me think of TI having sex with an animal.
WHAT'S WITH THE NAKED ANKLES?
This just happens to be the only example of male nudity in the whole video, and manages to simultaneously make everything else in shot look 100 times more sinister. There's no acceptable way to wear patent dress shoes with no socks; it creates a pervading sense of unease in the viewer, think of the potential for blisters, odour and squeaking. On top of the sockless masochist's list of already undesirable traits, is the air of the naughty schoolboy who didn't get dressed properly in the morning. Presumably because he was too busy thinking about the naked models he was going to pay loads of money to stand next to him later in the day and whether or not it'd make him look a bit like a pervert. (It does.)
THE TOTAL LACK OF AESTHETIC CONSIDERATION
There’s one thing that might be more annoying than the smug moron prancing around in this video, leching on women who are pointed and wielded at the viewer like animatronic Japanese sex dolls. And that is the design. It is by far the most awkward piece of video footage I’ve seen since poor Victoria Beckham had to go through this. A background the colour of Archers vomit, desperate hashtags (Follow Me? I bet you will) and tons of balloons that look like they were stolen from a Christian prom.
Now we’ve somehow made it to the conclusion with no mention at all of the gigantic injection Robin administers (possibly a MMR vaccine?), the stuffed animals, the giant playroom toys, the huge clumpy school shoes and the endless "O" faces – which basically turn the set into a creche. (Albeit one with the legend: "ROBIN THICKE HAS A BIG DICK" spelled out in massive capital letters with balloons. Which, I don't know, is not the kind of creche I'd be willing to leave a child at.) It’s a masterpiece of idiocy and the level of stupidity and arrogance required in order for a video this banal, offensive and unimaginative is almost impressive. Except, it's not impressive at all, is it? It's ugly sexist unispired bullshit dressed up as naughtiness, and it's creepy, creepy, creepy. Put some fucking socks on.
Follow Bertie on Twitter: @bertiebrandes
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