Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Lily Allen, "Hard Out Here"

Lily Allen's back after a four-year hiatus, during which she gave birth to two children, with the track "Hard Out Here." The song title is a play on Three 6 Mafia's Oscar-winning "Hard Out Here for a Pimp"; the video is a satire of just about every viral music video of the summer, including Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" and Miley Cyrus's "We Can't Stop." It's getting plenty of deserved side-eye, in part for the lyric, "No need to shake my ass for you 'cause I've got a brain" and in part because she's using black dancers in much the same way that Miley did in her video and at the VMAs. Part of that critique, though, seems to assume that the other women in this video aren't in on the joke; Lily, for her part, would probably sing back, "if you can't detect the sarcasm, you've misunderstood." Lots to think about, and I'm sure there will be a wealth of think pieces to choose from tomorrow, but this side-by-side is pretty wonderful for now.

12 Comments / Post A Comment


I would so love this if only there was some explicit reference to the fact that her sexy ladies are women of color. I think that's meant to be part of the satire but I wish it got some commentary too.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@milominderbender I feel like the scene with the old white guy showing her how the dancers are supposed to dance to look sexy does that pretty well.


@milominderbender My thoughts exactly. The song commented so explicitly on other issues, leaving the fact that they are WOC without specific mention seems like a glaring omission.

Regina Phalange

@milominderbender Yeah....I like Lily, but I felt as though she was the only one who got to be in on the joke? The dancers seemed to be the "straight women" in the comedy (dancing without a lot of smiling, etc.) -

For example, around 3:50, Lily is laughing after slapping a dancer's butt, obviously mocking the dancing. It would've been a lot cooler, I think, if the rest of the women had been shown laughing. Then, the comedy could have come from, "Wow, look at this absurd sexualization." But since it was Lily, the comedy seemed to be, "Haha, I'm a rich white lady, doing a culturally atypical dance!"


@Regina Phalange Exactly. If maybe they'd all exchanged a few WTF looks or if the dancers had been doing something other than exactly what you see in other videos, it could have said something meaningful.

Away Laughing

@milominderbender I kind of thought the dancers were making some WTF looks, actually? There's the one woman who licks the lamp-thing at 3:50 and gives this wide-eyed "are you watching this????!?" kind of face. I wish it were a little more obvious whether that was intentional, though - there's definitely parts where it seems like they're playing it totally straight.


I understand, love. I just wish it could be less mean towards men. We aren't horrible.@n


UGH. Lily. Please. Be better.


I'm a huge fan of Lily Allen, I just love her songs. It's so cool and it's like so modern. - All State Van Lines Relocation


Ugh ugh ugh

Stuff like "the fear" and "22" said the same stuff but at least halfway poetically. This is didactic like feminism 101 level cliches... it's like her songwriting has reverted back to teenager quality, and the hunger is gone. stick a fork in lily she's done



I kind of feel like it would have worked better if all the dancers did not have "dancer bodies" if that makes sense?

up cubed

@Megasus Did you see the dancer at 3:42? It happens really quickly, so I can't tell if it is part of the satire.

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