Princess Nokia's new video for the track "Young Girls" presents a feminist paradise that is filled with strong and beautiful brown women. The clip helps bring Nokia's evocative lyrics about a female-centered utopia to life with images of a tribe of women bouncing in dance circles, picking berries in a fairyland forest, and searching for treasures in a stream.
The song, which appeared on her Metallic Butterfly release, is essentially a homage to fertility and motherhood, and it showcases the deep respect Nokia, whose real name is Destiny Frasqueri, has for young mothers.
"People look down on teen moms and young mothers when they are the most gracious and significant women on this Earth," said Nokia. "They sacrifice their freedom and their lives to give life. I don't think people realize what they have to go through—the shaming our society puts on them. I mean, we've been having children as teenagers since the beginning of time."
The video also presents a diverse cross-section of young women. It features girls with West African, Polynesian, Taíno, Caribbean, Dominican, Haitian, African American, Mexican, South American, Palestinian, and Jewish backgrounds. (Nokia's own lineage includes Taíno and Yoruban.) This diverse cast, which was largely made up of Nokia's friends, helped Libin present "a visual representation of body types and colors that don't get [offered] in media and in music videos."
For Libin, the goal of the video was to show that women can create a community together. That's a sentiment that falls right in line with what Nokia likes to call "urban feminism" or "feminism for the ghetto woman," which involves a sisterhood like the one shown by women in the video that exists beyond the male gaze.
Spirituality and respect for nature were also very important to Nokia when she was shooting this video. This is because, from the age of six, she has participated in Taíno ceremonies called areitos and was exposed to spiritual practices of the Cherokee, Lakota, Seminole, Mexica, Azteca, and other Central American native peoples. She told me, "The imagery in the video are visions of me in different parts of my life and the traditions I've carried into my adult life, whether it's my nature, spirituality, or the identification of being a natural witch."
It's thanks to all of these compelling ideas—"urban feminism" and spiritual allusions—that "Young Girls" is one of the most exciting and thoughtful music videos to hit the internet this year.
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