Beyonce Questions Idea of Beauty in ‘Pretty Hurts’ Video
From body image issues and eating disorders to confidence and self-worth, Beyonce tackles the idea of beauty in her new video for ‘Pretty Hurts.’
Following the events at a beauty pageant, Beyonce is Miss 3rd Ward, one of the many contestants vying for the crown. The singer does everything from putting petroleum jelly on her teeth to getting catty with others in the dressing room. However as the video goes on, we start to see the pain that Bey is in throughout the process.
In one scene, she’s seen walking out of a bathroom stall and wiping her mouth, which is later followed by her actually throwing up in the toilet and shots of girls trying to control their weight.
And although she looks torn up when she’s at home or in the dressing room, Beyonce looks elegant in a turquoise sequined gown during the question-and-answer portion of the show. But her smile changes when the host, played by actor Harvey Keitel, asks what her aspirations are. After a moment of clarity (which involves a mental dive into a pool), she says, “My aspiration would be to be happy.”
The video then shows her breaking all her past pageant trophies as well as shots of other cosmetic fixes she’s made to get to where she is in the competition. The visual ends with an old clip of a younger Beyonce winning a pageant.
Beyonce, who’s just been named one of TIME’s most influential people, has really gone all out in starting the conversation about self-image and forces us to think about what we think beauty really is.