P!nk: Image is Everything

I’ve always kind of been a fan of Pink, although most with her newest album I’m Not Dead. She radiates an understanding of herself I haven’t seen in ages. In Stupid Girls she looks at the stupidity of sex symbols as they’re depicted– big-chested, compliant blonds.

Nobody Knows is about the loneliness we all experience, and the clip demonstrates the effort it takes just to get up in the morning and appear normal. I think the expectation to be ‘normal’ applies to women far more then it does to men, and the appreciation of what it costs is far less.

And of course U and Ur Hand is about all those sleazy guys who crack onto women at pubs and clubs – women who have taken too much care in their appearance to give a frack about what that sleazeball wants or thinks. I know there’s a stereotype that women go out to clubs and pubs only to attract men, but in my experience, it’s been the opposite. I’ve known far more women who enjoy dolling themselves up for a night with the girlfriends (and only the girlfriends) then I have women who doll themselves up to look good for men. I thought that clip was a genius – even dressed in leather and bondage gear, her posture and attitude said she was her own woman. Pink is not here for your entertainment. And while I’m at it, neither are we.

From Misunderstood came Don’t Let me Get Me, about crippling insecurities. In one scene, she lashes out at a mirror, which sticks her nose out and makes ‘chicken gestures’ back at her. In another scene, she morphs from herself, to an overweight, middle-aged Asian woman, to a plain-looking Caucasian, to a young male. The point I took was that we all have insecurities over our image – even glamorous popstars.

When I see clips for Britney, Jessica Simpson, Fergie and the Pussycat Dolls and I see women who, for all their ‘look at me’ sexuality, are still only showing us what men want to see. When I see clips from Pink, I see a woman who owns her image and sexuality.

Comments

  1. SunlessNick says

    Seeing you (I’m pretty sure it was you) mention Pink before, I watched out for her on my occasional visits to music channels and thought she kicked ass – rather delightfully, You and UR Hand was the first song I saw.

    I agree with everything you say about her. The “image is everything” in the title makes me think of style over substance – which is precisely what Pink avoids – but I suspect that’s more down to a difference between us in what the words conjure up.

  2. scarlett says

    Actually, I meant it as a play on words. I think image is important to her, but in a more proactive, thought-provoking way. I think image is important to Fergie and the PCDs so they appear sexual and complinat, but I think image is important to Pink because she takes her intellect and sexuality out there and makes people think about it. She reminds me a lot of Madonna in that regard.

    I started rereading Gone With the Wind today, for the umpteenth time, and there was a passage which made me think of Nobody Knows, about how women are expected to do the hard work and suffering and at all times appear perfectly together – I think the scene when, after a night of crying and self-doubt, she appears perfectly made up to give a stellar performance, as if nothing had happened, is perfectly related to that.

    Oh, and don’t go MTVing, YouTube it :p

  3. scarlett says

    Yeah I’d recommend buying the album (I especially recommend Dear Mr. President) but what struck me about her music is the way she plays with image and provokes thought over it in her clips.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.