Four years and two children later Lily Allen has returned with her first single since the release of her hit album It’s Not Me, It’s You, in 2009. The single ‘Hard Out Here’ has already attracted mass media attention taking on modern day sexism and the recent flood of the sexual exploitation of women in the music industry.
The film clip for the new single is already stirring arguments due to its obvious mocking of Miley Cyrus’ twerking dance moves and Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ music video. If you are going to mock something, go hard! That is what Lily Allen has gone for with this new video, and with it making headlines everywhere, it seems to be having the effect that was intended.
The lyrics in the song are witty and playful with lines like ,“Don’t need to shake my arse for you because I’ve got a brain” and “Forget your balls and grow a pair of tits.” Allen’s new single is sarcastic and focus’ on the double standards and objectification placed on women in contemporary society. With plenty of booty shaking, finger licking and a banana or two Allen pokes fun at some of the recent controversies in the music industry. It is empowering to women, and feminists are likely to be applauding Allen for creating awareness in the media and portraying herself as a strong advocate for gender equality.
Not all the media attention Allen has received has been positive, there has been backlash for the video due to the dance scenes of Allen and her group of mostly “black” back up dancers. Critics such as; The Root making comments about the dancers regarding their race, “Did I also mention nearly all of them are black?” claiming that Allen is attacking sexism with racism. This is a bit ridiculous considering the obvious sarcasm and intended humour throughout the entire video, and Allen has responded to these claims stating that the back up dancers were chosen based solely on their dancing abilities. To most people with a sense of humour they can detect the juxtaposition between Allen and the dancers as she jokingly attempts to twerk.
Allen’s new song is not an intentionally racist music video, it is her way of expressing herself to the public after years of being on a music hiatus. It is pretty damn catchy, and a really fun new pop song. A comical satire not intended to offend, but to innocently mock the music industry and convey a message of girl-power!