Saturday, January 22, 2011

Respect for Pink

I cried to Pink's video for "F**kin Perfect", I'm not ashamed of that.

Hey, I was getting pretty teary just listening to the song the first time I heard it, but I full on cried when I first saw the video. 

It was the scene that this video will most likely be remembered for, the scene where Tina Marjorino carves the word "Perfect" into her arm with a razor blade, that made me cry. It's a shocking scene. You don't usually see that blunt, uncensored imagery in today's music videos. Perhaps a half naked woman, dancing around a tattooed, "thinks he's hard" gangster rapper, perhaps a woman, singing, with a telephone on her head, perhaps even a small child flicking her hair back and fourth to paint a room. But self harm? Suicide? Never.

Step aside vain, cowardly artists, Pink has arrived. As you can probably remember, Pink has never been afraid to show who she is, or what she believes in. She has has always found a way to relate to her fans, to tell them that "Hey, we all feel alone sometimes. It's alright, you're not alone." It's nice to see that she's continuing to do so, despite her being on her 6th album, a point where most other artists would have "sold out" to whatever is profitable and popular a long time ago.

Pink is not any other artist however.

She took a risk and decided to be "controversial" and raise awareness of self harm and teen suicide in her video. I think that the risk paid off.

I'm not sure if she knows, truly, how many lives have been affected by this song. I've had friends who have felt upset, or depressed, and I sent them the link to this song telling them that "This reminds me of you, you keep telling yourself that you can't do anything but you are f*ckin' perfect. Don't forget that" It makes so much difference, just to know that you are not alone in this world. 

The video plays out like an autobiography, starting from when Tina's character is just a small child, and her only friend is her teddy-bear, to when she's a fully grown adult and has got a child of her own. It shows the viewer all of the bad things that contribute to her self harm, the things that society always scream at us ourselves...
"You are not skinny enough."
"You are not smart enough."
"You are not pretty enough."
"Stop dressing like that."
"Conform. Maybe they'll like you if you are a little more like them and a little less like you."
I mean, come on, there are rules, there are laws and then there are just perceptions of perfection. Perfection is not achievable. You can come pretty close, but pure perfection is not achievable. And even coming close to perfection can cause you pain.

I think that's what Pink and Dave Meyers (director of the video) are trying to tell us. Perfection hurts. Trying to be perfect hurts. Putting labels on people hurts. And when people strive towards perfection, it could end up killing them, like the character's self harm almost does in the video. There's that horrible silence that lasts for eight seconds but seems to stretch on for an eternity, where you only hear the ominous sound of water dripping into the bathtub, hell, for all we know, it could be the girls blood dripping into the bathtub, and we assume that she has died. 

That's the scene that has reduced people to tears. Because they know that this is happening somewhere in the world, or has happened to someone close to them, or has happened to them personally. 


In this video at least, there's a happy ending. The girl sees her teddy-bear, the same one that was thrown across the playground when she was a little child, and she is reminded of life. She is reminded of the dreams waiting to be achieved, the possibilities waiting to happen, the happiness waiting to be realised, all of which would vanish if she died. The child inside of her would die. The elderly woman inside of her would die. The meaning behind that teddy-bear would die. And she wasn't willing for that to happen.

So she became a painter, she found a boyfriend, she had a daughter, and she passed her teddy-bear to her daughter at the end of the video. Okay, the ending made me cry a little too. It's just so beautiful. That teddy-bear is what saved her, it's her comfort, her safety, and she wants that to become her daughter's.

Tragically beautiful video, incredibly meaningful to people across the globe and will hopefully not be remembered just for the controversial scene on self harm, but rather for it's wonderful message. Life gets better. Life is worth living. Life is beautiful and meaningful and you are not alone.

Nothing but respect for that woman. I hope her child knows how lucky they are to have such a wonderful human being for a Mother.