Crazy Girl Only Gets Butt & Lips In Matchbox 20’s “She’s So Mean”
I am a lifelong, unabashed, unapologetic Matchbox 20 superfan. I own all their albums. They were the first band I ever saw in concert. I’ve even paid money just to hear the lead singer Rob Thomas to speak on a panel about music. I will defend his talented songwriting skills to the death. You want to take this outside, bitch? Because I will fight you. I will fight you in an alley. (Winona understands.) I’m beyond pumped for their new album and was super-excited when Amelia IMed me their new
music lyric video, “She’s So Mean.”
So I was beyond not pumped when I actually watched the “She’s So Mean” video and my overwhelming emotion was “Ew.”
“She’s So Mean” is a lot more pop than a lot of their other songs, even the ones you hear on Top 40. It’s a song about a crazy girlfriend who “makes you take her to the club and then she leaves with her friend,” “she drinks Bacardi in the morning,” and “all her clothes are on the floor and all your records are scratched.” But my issue isn’t with the song: my issue is with the way the entire music video focuses on the ass, tongue and lips of the actress playing girlfriend.
Literally. You don’t see this woman’s eyes in the entire video.
Maybe they thought this was a cool, creative concept? Really, it just seems dehumanizing to me that this woman only shows specific, very sexual body parts in the video. To be clear, the sexy scenarios that the woman’s Megan Fox-esque mouth are used in — licking lollipops and slicking on lipstick — aren’t the problem. And I’ll hardly complain about a music video highlighting a nice ass in short-shorts or hot legs in high heels. The problem is that these are the only body parts we see. (To be fair, the “boyfriend” briefly appears in the video twice as well and we don’t see his face either — but he is fully clothed.)
It’s art. I don’t like policing art, but I am going to critique it because I do think it’s a sexist video. I’m disappointed overall in what Matchbox 20 did. They’re a huge band on a big label and they don’t need to resort to stunts like this if they’re trying to do something “cool.” [YouTube]
Update: Rob Thomas contacted me on Twitter (!!!!) to say it is the band’s lyric video, but not music video. Apparently a music video for the song is forthcoming. He also said the video was meant “in jest.” Now excuse me, I’m off to hyperventilate a little bit.
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