Video Review: Mike Posner “Be As You Are”

Mike Posner walks on the shoulder of the road, the mountainside next to him.

A fortysomething man walks in the sand and holds up a handwritten sign reading “Failure.”  A fortysomething woman holds up a sign reading “Fat.”

A man, with a long, graying beard holds up his sign. It reads “Bum.”

The first man tears up his sign and then starts to unbutton his shirt. He removes his shirt while the woman rips her sign in half. She looks into the ocean and takes off her dress. The first man removes his pants.

The man with the graying beards destroys his sign and takes off his shirt.

The first man walks into the ocean, his backside showing.

A twentysomething man with long blond hair holds up a sign reading “Stupid” while a twentysomething woman’s sign reads “Bitch.” A young woman, dressed in all black, holds a “Weird” sign. A pregnant woman holds the sign “Whore” over her bump. Tears run down her cheeks as she rips her sign. The two twentysomething people take off their clothes. The pregnant woman caresses her bump.

A man is a white dress shirt and tie carries a sign that says “Normal.” He unties his tie. Another man holds a sign saying “Shallow.” It gets torn up and he removes his shirt.

The twentysomething man does a half-flop, half-dive into the ocean while the others stand near to each other, playing with the water or bending over. Posner walks down the wooden steps leading to the sand.

As he walks on the sand, there are discarded bras and clothing by him. He stands in the center and points at the screen.

A bare-chested man, with a body painted with tattoos shreds his “Thug” sign in half. The man cracks his knuckles.

Posner holds up his sign: “Afraid.” It tears it, strips off his clothes and joins everyone in the ocean.

Rating: 4/5

The people featured in the video have had their confidence leveled by the perceptions of their race, body type, and/or station in life. It has shattered them, displaying a fragility they usually have to hide. They have been unable to get past the labels placed upon them. With their personality and status already determined by a first impression, they are become invisible in society.

Naked, they take to the ocean. It’s a chance to cleanse themselves of the hurtful words and take back whatever humiliation or rejections they have suffered due to stereotypes. They can heal and start over. Perhaps they can build themselves up again, piece by piece.

Posner, though, does not leave the emotional heavy lifting to the anonymous people. In a show of honesty, he owns up to his flaw of staying with the status quo. When he enters the ocean, it has a powerful impact. He sees himself as a person first and he wants to change, become better. It seems as thought iwere documentary footage, serving as an introduction to how society views people.

Director: N/A Year: 2015

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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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