Charli XCX Subverts Male Gaze on "Boys"

Charli XCX Subverts Male Gaze on "Boys"

The British pop starlet does right by any woman who has ever been a "video hoe."

The British pop starlet does right by any woman who has ever been a "video hoe."

Text: E.R. Pulgar

The video girl has never gotten enough credit, sequestered to the back of the music video as she grinds on the frontman, objectified throughout all of the music industry's sprawling history. Although feminism in the industry is no new concept — from the proto-feminism of Janis Joplin to Marina & The Diamonds's "How to Be a Heartbreaker" video — Charli XCX has added a worthy addition to the canon of musicians flipping sexism in the industry on its head with her video for "Boys."

Gathering together men from every walk of life — from Wiz Khalifa and Tom Daley to Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend and Carl Bârat of The Libertines — Charli XCX subverts the male gaze by turning the camera's attention entirely on the men. The fun, colorful video's visuals are all over the place, veering between fake money flying in the air, men posing shirtless or lounging in plastic pools, and Joe Jonas chowing down on several plates of pancakes doused in syrup. Charli herself appears briefly, donning a chic suit and a thin, painted-on mustache.

With visuals this lively, it makes sense the track would be relatively minimalistic, with the entire track built around a downbeat and electronic flourishes. The chorus, "I was busy thinking about boys" is topped by an electronic coin sound. Maybe it's a stretch to say that the video is particularly revolutionary, but it goes a long way in poking fun at the overdone video vixen trend by turning her lens on the boys in a sexy, fun-loving manner.

Watch the video for "Boys" below.

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