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Why Charli XCX’s ‘Boys’ video is so important – and it’s not just because we get some serious Puthy action.

Charli brings her hallmark hooks and catchy choruses back in her latest single ‘Boys’ but the music video only makes the whole thing so much sweeter. Directed by Charli herself, the video sports beach balls, pink flamingos, stacks of pancakes and a whole lot of shirtless Puthy action. The ‘Boys’ video gives us a pin-up calendar perfect for all year around. Charli’s new video flips the male gaze on its head and serves us topless male celebrity realness in abundance, with a side of rippling pectorals and bursting hotness.

It has cameos from a lot of celebs; we have Cameron Dallas who, for whatever reason, has a chainsaw, but whatever it works. Tom Daley is there, who is so hot it’s almost scalding but you just know that in between takes he likely told everyone about his workout routine. But for me the most notable has to be Joe Jonas. I know it’s fairly obviously to pine after him, butt there are very few guys on this planet who manage to make pancake eating look sexy and let me tell you this he is one of them. I would trade places with those pancakes faster than I’d have him stacked on top of me. See what I did there? Anyway, I digress.

The video gives a well deserved break from the usual girls in bikinis and the array of over sexualisation thrust upon female singers these days. It’s a feminist track for this new generation; re-engineering the sex culture that so many women are trapped in. The video boasts a meaty celeb line up all of who clearly got the concept that Charli was trying to deliver. I am, of course, referring to tiring objectification of women in the industry, most notably the music industry.

Although feminism has come a long way in recent years, there’s still that stigma that female pop starts need to be slender and sexy; no matter how good the song is, it needs a fairly raunchy video to go along with it. Otherwise what’s the point, right? As I said, things are better now in 2017: We appreciate female artists for their artistic integrity and musical prowess. But still there are some that would refer to the likes of Rhianna and other female stars in a sexual way; commenting on their looks before they made comment on their music.

This comes with added side-effects. Younger girls see their celeb idols dawn skimpy clothing and be boldly busty. This desensitises them and as such it tricks them into thinking that’s the norm; that’s how woman should look, and move, and act. It teaches them that the perfect body is required for men to be interested in them – no matter how polished their other talents are. For the last twenty years the budget for music videos has continued to escalate, and with this we’ve been treated to a runway of the ‘perfect’ female body hit-after-hit.

This perfect body impossible to achieve but imperative to have. You could pen an absolute bop of song but still be slated by some for not sporting this perfect body in your music video. What even is the perfect body? Is it ghostly pale and delicate like lace? Slender hips? A juicy booty and a flat stomach? Whatever it is it’s damaging for those that don’t compare to that image. For those that are perhaps chubby or have braces or that are loud or clumsy. None of these are inherently bad traits, not at all. But from the perspective of a young girl whose idol is a size eight, has browned skin, perky breasts and no stretch marks in sight, not living up to that expectation leads to all kinds of problems in later life. Low self-esteem, little self-respect. Feeling they need to act sexy for guys to like them; which is a slippery slope in itself. One that can lead to perhaps having sex with someone as a way to keep the guy interested. It can lead to eating disorders and a hefty helping of bad choices. The truth is is fifteen year old girls want to be skinny because it is considered socially acceptable and conventionally attractive to be thin. Achieving this image makes them think they’ll be treated better. Girls are hunting for this ‘perfect body’ because it seems to be all they’ve ever known. It’s an earthy purgatory they’re stuck in; trying to measure up to an image that doesn’t exist.

In ‘Boys’ Charli steers away from that. Obviously making the conscious decision to omit herself from the video, she instead filled the space with literally every boy in pop culture right now. It’s directed in a way that screams for it to be memed, tweeted, and memed again. It cheekily feeds us a helping of male eye candy and ousts that typical sexualisation of women. The video is important because gender equality is important. Every single guy that took part in that video got the concept, the idea; they clearly all have a sense of humour and get Charli’s message.

The video gives us three things: 1) lessons in modern Feminism 2) An indeterminate and almost unquenchable thirst. And 3) It helps draw attention away from a toxic image.

The song is also an absolute bop.

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