Music Notes

It May Be All About The Boys, But Charli XCX's New Music Video Has A Feminist Edge

"They're doing all the sexy things that girls usually do in videos."

"I was busy thinkin' 'bout boys, boys, boys," Charli XCX sings in her new song titled โ€” you guessed it โ€” "Boys." And the 24-year-old singer certainly lives up to those lyrics in her newly released music video, which features of dozens of famous guys, including Joe Jonas, Riz Ahmed, Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth, Brendon Urie, and many, many more.

The video has a playful tone, as the camera catches the video's stars doing things like eating pancakes, washing cars, lounging in flower petals, and having a pillow fight. According to Charli herself, it's a subversive way of pointing out a double standard in the music industry.

"They're basically just doing all the sexy things that girls usually do in videos," the singer told BBC Radio 1 this week, explaining that she reached out to the men in the video beforehand to let them know, "I just want to kind of flip the male gaze on its head."

"You've turned it around?" the interviewer asked her, shocked. "Do you know how long I've been waiting for someone to do this?" She's definitely not alone.

And the point of the video isn't to simply ogle stereotypically "hot" male bodies, either. As one fan pointed out on Twitter, the clip features a "diverse range of talented men just being confident and themselves on camera."

The video's new "gaze" is emphasized by the fact that it was directed by Charli herself, along with Sarah McColgan. The singer only appears in the clip briefly, along with a few other women donning drawn-on mustaches.

Charli recently spoke to Glamour about feminism in music, saying, "There are some really amazing artists and people behind the scenes who are really effective in championing feminism in the music industry, and I think that's really important for people in the industry and for young girls and guys to see. It should become universal."

Oh, and don't worry โ€” Charli makes one thing very clear in the video's description: "NO BOYS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS VIDEO."

Check out the full "Boys" music video below:

(H/T: Teen Vogue)

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