On Wednesday, July 26, 2017, I woke up from my daily depression nap with a strange feeling. I felt the sudden urge to log on to YouTube. As I checked the trending page I stumbled on to what could only be described as one of the best music videos of our generation. (Excluding anything Beyoncé has made: Ring The Alarm, Formation, etc…) Everyone’s favorite Number 1 Angel Charli XCX released the music video for “Boys” from her long awaited mixtape. The video features everyone’s “favorite” famous boys (with some exceptions included *cough Cameron Dallas *cough). However putting all cameos aside, I think this may be one of the most amazing, empowering, and dare I say it, feminist music videos ever made!
Now I know it may sound strange that a video featuring almost exclusively men is at its core feminist, but hear me out. News flash, Just because it’s called Fem~inism, does not mean it’s strictly for the progress and empowerment of women! Everyone can benefit from feminism, even Wiz Kalifa, who by the by, has a cameo in this music video. Charli made a bold move and decided to direct the video, which would later become her literal Magnum Opus. In an interview with Radio 1, the singer outlined her initial vision for the music video. The songstress states, “I started thinking about all the guys that I’ve worked with or met [throughout all] my years in the industry… I just want to flip the male gaze on its head and have you guys do the sexy stuff.”
That “sexy stuff” has now given a way to break gender roles, especially in the music industry, and finally, shows a rather softer side to these men. In a world run rampant with toxic masculinity, and these wild expectations for these young boys to live up to, it’s refreshing to finally see something that lets them know it’s okay to be sensitive, that it’s okay to be playful. The video depicts everyone from actors, to social media stars, to emo singers and hardcore rappers, however, it shows them as just regular people. This “new wave” of feminism is about equality, for all people, and this video is filled to the brim with equality and representation! Speaking from my perspective as a person of color, sometimes the Black Community “specializes” in misogyny and toxic masculinity, so as someone who was a rather “sensitive” young boy, this was amazing for me to watch and experience!