The cover star of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people issue, Beyoncé, has announced that she’s finally releasing ‘Pretty Hurts‘. I say finally because ever since I first heard the song in December I’d been waiting for her to release it, as it is in my opinion the best track from her current album.
Taken from Bey’s self-titled fifth studio album, “BEYONCE“, which she dropped on the world completely at random back on 13th December 2013 (like, there wasn’t even an announcement, smoke signal or flare to warn you what was coming) and packed to the brim with eye-opening metaphors, ‘Pretty Hurts’ discusses the idea of conforming to the picture perfect image of what society wants, regardless of what you need. As always, Bey’s feminist values strike gold once more as she proves that you don’t need to succumb to the pressure of what people say you should be, you just have to be happy with yourself, and that’s all that matters, “Perfection is the disease of a nation,” Bey states, as she continues on her plight.
The accompanying video is just as insightful and thought-provoking and is arguably Bey’s best video to date, with issues such as bulimia, Botox, fake tan, cotton balls, diet pills, detrimental image obsession and objectification, unhealthy competition amongst your peers and the effects of beauty pageants being featured prominently throughout. Beyonce, who enters the beauty pageant as “Miss 3rd Ward” in the visual, is asked a pretty important question by Harvey Keitel, “What is your aspiration in life?” he asks, as Bey ponders her response for a while, before eventually commenting, “To be happy.” In an effort to change the superficial standards of beauty, Beyoncé has also asked fans to upload photos and videos on Instagram with the hash tag #WhatIsPretty, to form an overall definition of what pretty means to people.
Back in December, I immediately singled out the track and video as my favourite, as I feel as if the omniscient honesty and vulnerability will resonate with many who listen, as it highlights why happiness is far more important than being forced to be something that you are not. It captures a life lesson of what the world seems to emphasise, and the message I gathered, is that all society really looks at is perfection, and that becoming pretty, hurts, because you have to go through all the obstacles to gather there, when ultimately, you don’t need society to tell you that you’re pretty, because you already are.
Take a look at the ‘Pretty Hurts’ video below: