Video Review: Janelle Monáe “PYNK”

Janelle Monáe rides with her friends in a bubblegum pink convertible alongside a mauve mountainside. She parks at the PYNK restaurant and reads the handwritten sign: “Girls Eat Free and Never Leave.” A young woman snaps her fingers in the parking lot.

At the cornflower blue painted pool,  she and her friends hang out and drink.

Monáe stands by herself on the mountainside. A mauve tint covers her.

Several women stand together at various spots in the desert, snapping their fingers.

Monáe and some dancers perform a routine wearing vagina pants. She waves her arms as she stands by herself. A young woman’s head pokes through the middle of the pants. She rubs her hand in the young woman’s hair.

She and her friends sit in the car and dance in their seats. They kick up their legs at the pool and fall backwards in unison. A mauve tint is rotated at the car and pool.

A group of women lie on the sand and put their butts in the air. The young woman pushes them down. A kitten walks on a blush carpet in her bedroom. She sits on the edge of the bed, twirling her hair while her friends sit on the sides of her. Her underpants read: “Sex Cells.”

She and her friends dance at the entrance of the restaurant. A mauve tint is added to it.

In her backyard.  she hits a punching bag and kicks it. Her friends work out on her patio.

At night, they dance in the restaurant’s parking lot. A magenta neon signs reads: “Pussy Power.”

A woman sticks her finger through a doughnut hole. Two women let the tips of their tongues touch as they stand against a fuchsia background. Several women give the middle finger. A woman unhooks her bra.

Two women stand together barefoot and twirling their hair on the mountainside.

Rating: 5/5

Vagina is the word people are not allowed to say in proper company. Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, which regularly does features on the female body reproductive part, relays country club myths in a drunk, authoritative voice over girl’s night as the wine spills on the Ralph Lauren tablecloth. It’s only acceptable use is regarding education about anatomy. Both. Cosmopolitan  and Teen Vogue stuck to biological terms as they described the types of vaginas and surrounding reproductive parts.

Janelle Monáe, though, wears pants shaped like a vagina. It’s as natural for her to move in as jeans. Although she takes care of it as any body part, she receives pleasure from it, too. However, most articles are aimed at women to teach the men not to be afraid of it. She flinches at slang terms like pussy, which are meant as an insult towards men, and cringes at the so-called frank talk on cable shows. There seems to be little middle ground in the mainstream. It’s either a demeaning part, which is only useful for men or a shocking discussion in order to get attention.

She is proud of her vagina and prefers it over the penis. The sexual component is often whispered away and covered up in general sex articles. It’s a means to an end for heterosexual satisfaction. Pussy Power, for her, stands not only for women’s rights but as an appreciation of a body part she loves.

Director: Emma Westenberg Year: 2018


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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 and forthcoming in Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kristofia anthology.

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