In this 2010 video for her single “Pretty Girl Rock,” pop and R&B singer Keri Hilson delivers a message about being proud of one’s beauty. She transitions through a series of costumes, demonstrating the dominant popular music and fashion styles through various eras from American history. From the flashy headpieces of the 1920s to the sateen pajama suits of the 1990s, Hilson repeats the same refrain: “Don’t hate me ‘cause I’m beautiful.”
What do you think Hilson’s main message is to her listeners?
Are there any elements of the video or lyrics that might complicate its intended message?
A critique might me made that suggests that the basis of being “beautiful”, as depicted in this video and as illustrated through historical costuming, is based on a mostly male conception. At one point in the lyrics, Hilson remarks, “Don’t worry ’bout what I think, why don’t you ask him?” So, while it can be seen on one hand as an empowering expression of femininity, the video’s reliance on male approval calls into question the strength of that empowerment.