Monday, October 18, 2010

Giant pink flowers

Rihanna released her video recently for her new song. It's worth watching the video.

A commenter on youtube said, "This is one of the most disturbing videos.... going down on the yellow flower, the giant pink vulva flower... And the lyrics. The lyrics are heartbreaking really. You can never be the only girl in the world and you can never be the best. This, like all her videos is sending the message "I'm a hot vag, use me and I'll imagine its love," but this one seems more self-aware and pained. I'm sure no one reading this is going to get what I'm saying though... It is sickly mesmerizing."

But she's saying "I want you to make me feel like I'm the only girl in the world." I don't think she's implying, "I want you you to tell me I'm the only girl in the world and mean it absolutely." She's talking about a feeling, not a reality.

This video is incredibly different from her pagan Rockstar 101 video. That video screamed "Fuck off. I'm in control now," while Only Girl in the World says, "Look at me! I'm a womaaaannnn! Deflower me!" She would prefer it if you loved her like a "hot ride," though. So, if you can't love her like you love your car, I suppose you're out of luck.

I must say that I think her sacrificial virgin bra-and-long-skirt at the end is a bit strange. Her red hair, though, ugghh, amazing. I want. Apparently I can't write proper sentences when I want bright red hair.

(from here)


Josh said...

You know, I'm not quite sure how I feel about the overall message of the vide. I think the YouTube poster is just generally uncomfortable with the idea of female sexuality, which explains her overly-harsh reactions to the subject matter. At the same time, I think the sexuality in the video is conflicted and lends itself to a bit of analysis.

On one hand, the lyrics convey that Rihanna is a grown woman asking for undivided sexual attention. She's not exactly subtle, after all, when . The fireworks scene near the end seems to be a pretty solid orgasm reference, and the "caress my flower" scene is pretty blunt. But there's a ton of child-like imagery built in to the video too, particularly in its conclusion, which adds a little bit of peculiarity into the sexual implications.

Pretty much from 3:50 on forward there's a ton of twirling, flowy-skirt waving action. Yeah, it's fun and free, but can you tell me you don't think of a 4-year old girl when you see it? If you did it yourself, is that how you'd feel? (And let's not talk about the bright-red hair and light-pink tones running through the whole video...)

I believe you've talked to me about how Freud's theories on childhood and sexuality have pretty much been taken apart now, but it'd be pretty easy to put some daddy-issues into this song/video combo. "Want you to make me feel like I'm the only girl in the world/like I'm the only one that you'll ever love/like I'm the only one who knows your heart..." Those lyrics start crossing the line from overt sexuality to love and emotion, and I can't say that the YouTube comment doesn't have at least some grounding based on that.

Still, spectacular post, and I think it's great that you pointed out the contrast between this one and Rockstar 101, neither of which I had seen before reading your blog. Thanks for the info and thought-provoking material.

Amelie said...

After what she says in the bridge, "Take me for a ride, ride. Oh baby take me high, high. Let me make you rise, rise. Oh make it last all night, night," and then.. BAM! fireworks! It's as if the director attempted to be discreet with this sexual innuendo, but it's incredibly transparent.

But no, I actually didn't think of a 5 year old when I watched it. Rihanna's 21, so she might be trying to assert her womanhood while not quite being a woman yet, which would make her "I am a woman!" feel not so womanly...? But I didn't see the end as childlike at all. She was wearing a white bra and skirt (maybe some 5 year old girls go around in that?). I honestly thought of a virgin being prepared for a sacrifice.