Charli XCX is the name on everyone’s lips following her incredible (self directed) video for uber-catchy song ‘Boys’. It’s star-studded cast has a ridiculous amount of boys all playing the innocent young model. It’s an incredible premise, flipping the cute girl in a music video stereotype to feature boys instead and better still? They’re all acting out the stuff girls are up to in music videos to ridicule the stereotype further. There’s something for everyone, Dan from Bastille popping chewing gum, Stormzy’s eating cereal, Carl Barat’s lighting a cig and Mac DeMarco’s licking his guitar, so it’s all pretty standard stuff.
Just like the girl power band and the riot grrrl movement that has influenced Charli XCX in the past, she pushes to get what she wants, which in this case is getting to live out her fantasies which she talks about in ‘Boys’, by directing all the band members and hollywood heartthrobs to re-enact her teenage daydreams.
The video is interesting also as it flips the masculine expectation on it’s head by having all the boys enact tasks that the girls in music videos are typically left to portray from the shade of baby pink that features in every shot to the rose petals Brendon Urie lays upon to the grease that slicks Jack Antonoff’s skin as he works out. It also takes shots from industry standards by having men of all shapes, colours and sizes featured, in the industry which typically prefers the skinny white girl.
Pitchfork also raised a point about Charli XCX here legitimizing the teenage girl fandom audiences, which are typically ridiculed on the internet whilst she here becomes one of them and feeds into their naratives too whilst holding together so many different types of teenage girls, even legitimising the YouTube fandom, with features of Caspar Lee and Connor Franta, which is typically kept separate from celebrities of traditional media.
Give the video a watch above and stream the song ‘Boys’ here.