These days, pop music tends to be a combination of generic lyrics, catchy hooks and scantily clad women that are too good looking to actually exist. There’s nothing wrong with that.
It’s for blasting out of car windows, not a philosophical debate about the state of the human psyche. Perfectly harmless. Unless you’re Robin Thicke, and your new single is accused of being a little ‘rapey.’ That’s generally a word to steer clear of.
A writer at The Daily Beast has written a lengthy article complaining that both the lyrics and video to ‘Blurred Lines’ combine into one wholly inappropriate package that presents the “age-old problem where men think no means yes into a catchy, hummable song”. Well, it’s definitely catchy, I’ll give them that. But is it entirely shocking that an R&B song by a good looking thirty-something man features half naked women?
The article also quotes another writer who is less that happy about about the repetitive use of the phrase ‘I know you want it’.
“Basically, the majority of the song (creepily named ‘Blurred Lines’) has the R&B singer murmuring ‘I know you want it’ over and over into a girl’s ear. Call me a cynic, but that phrase does not exactly encompass the notion of consent in sexual activity … Seriously, this song is disgusting—though admittedly very catchy.”
Call me a cynic, but I think that’s kind of nit-picking. It’s a generic enough lyric, up there with the likes of ‘get on the floor’. A quick Google search shows that the exact same phrase, in roughly the same context, is used in ‘Your Body’ by Christina Aguilera (The chorus of which features the inspired line ‘All I wanna do is fuck your body’ and nobody says a word about it) and ‘Don’t Cha’ by Pussycat Dolls. Both songs are by women, and whilst admittedly they aren’t whispered down anyone’s ear, they were all received as exactly what they are: meaningless phrases in harmless pop songs.
Canadian model Amy Davison also weighed in on the clip in a YouTube video, saying:
“The women are clearly being used as objects to reinforce the status of the men in the video. The men have all the control and status because they are not vulnerable—they are completely covered. Whereas the women have no status and are totally open to be exploited, ogled and used.”
But completely missing the fact that these women voluntarily took off their clothes and grinded against Thicke, T.I and Pharrell. It might be a little bit sleazy and great big ploy for attention, but exploitative it ain’t. Let’s be honest, if I looked liked any of them I’d want to show it off too.
The edited version of the video is below, the NSFW one can be found here.