Video Review: Shawn Mendes “Treat You Better”

A guy argues in a car with Shawn Mendes’ crush. Slumped in the passenger seat, she puts her arms up, wanting the tirade against her to end. She’s heard enough. She opens the door and walks out.

As she walks up back the steps in her house, every part of her body hurts. Her back has bruises from the chain link fence. Before coming home, she washed her face and put some make up on to cover the marks on her face. She plops herself on the bed, numb, and stares at the ceiling.

At home, Mendes is thinking of her and hoping she is ok. He’s seen the scars on her before. She lied and pretended she fell but he knew it was her boyfriend.

Meanwhile, she thinks that the signs were there. One time while they were taking a walk, she was looking at a field. Behind her, her boyfriend shook the fence and he pulled at her cheek a little. When they went to her afterwards, he told her that he loved her but not to make him angry like that again. Then, he pulled at her face again. She tried to make him stop by biting his hand. She finally pushed him off her and was able to leave. However, he shoved right back on her bed and left. She put her hand on her head, relieved that it didn’t escalate further.

She stares down at the floor, numb from the episode. Ashamed, she takes a shower and sits there, letting the water soak her until she can feel all right again.

In the bathroom, he stares into the mirror, wishing he could help her. He hasn’t heard from her in a while and it worries him. He slams the wall, ticked that that her boyfriend has taught her that she deserves to be humiliated daily.

In her bathroom, she remembers the only time she saw her boyfriend emotional. They were outside, hanging out with his friends. It was raining, and she was letting the rain touch her tongue. Her boyfriend jumped off the car, declared his love for her and hugged her stomach. She rubbed the top of his head, glad she was able to be there for him. He seemed so small and vulnerable, as though she was the one person who could reach him.

Then, they got into the car to take her home. However, one of his friend challenged him to a game of chicken. After circling a pole, they sped down a street, tires squealing. But they nearly got into an accident. She told him that it scared her. He told it’s who he is and she should’ve known while she walked away.

She wanted to escape somewhere. She went to a club and let the pounding music kill all her thoughts. While dancing, she spots a blonde girl whispering into his ear. She pauses, waiting to see if he will respond. He then leans into the blonde girl and wraps his arms around her. She confronted him and told him it was over. After their fight, he caught up with her by the fence and began to beat her up.

At home, she lies on her side on the bed and touches her throbbing face. She wishes she had the strength. Meanwhile, Mendes feels helpless at home. At the end, the phone number for the National Domestic Hotline is made available.


            Rating: 4.5/5

Shawn Mendes had seen the bruises. The young woman had tried to cover it up by saying she had fallen. However, he knew her boyfriend hit her. In his classes, he had heard stories that her boyfriend had pulled her hair and banged her head on the table. She was out of school for a week. Her parents had taken to her to the hospital after she vomited her room. She had suffered a concussion.

While getting books for his classes, he asks her how she’s doing and talks to her about school, He hopes in some way, she’ll trust him and let him in. Her friends don’t seem to care. They only gossip about it. The teachers have noticed but haven’t notified the authorities. Someone needs to look out for her.

To see a video from a male singer supporting women who are in abusive relationships is amazing. Too often, women’s voices are silenced by the local authorities, their family, or strangers who dismiss it as she had it coming.

It is disturbing to see the young woman punched out. However, the reality is that it happens to some women every day and they have become afraid to speak up and fear for their safety. If one woman calls the hotline after the watching the video and thinking they can leave, the video had done its job.

   Director: N/A  Year: 2016

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit ,Greatest City Collective, 45 Magazine ,Fevers of the Mind, Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kirstofia anthology. and forthcoming in Scrawl Place

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