Video Review: Ella Mai “Naked”

Wind blows the curtains while Ella Mai sits in the bathtub of her apartment. The last glimmer of sunlight streak through the windows.

Against a black background, Ella Mai sits on a chair. A man with curly hair and freckles turns his head. A twentysomething African-American woman pulls a strand of her hair back. A Latino 17-year-old young man smiles.

She sits cross-legged in pajamas against a sky blue background. A full-figured blonde twentysomething, in a beige bra and panties sits on the floor. A shirtless twentysomething African-American rests his head on his knee. A shirtless thirtysomething man stands in his jeans.

On the bleachers, an 16-year-old African-American young man hugs a sixtysomthing woman. Mai laughs at a joke and talks to someone sitting in the row ahead of her. Two twentysomethings hold up a sign that says “#DefendDACA.” A fortysomething man holds up a sign stating “#PrayforPuertoRico.” A twentysomething African-American woman holds up sign saying “#BlackLivesMatter.”

A twentysomething African-American man holds up a sign, stating “#TimesUp.” An auburn-haired 16-year-old young woman holds up a sign saying “#MeToo.”

An Asian twentysomething man smiles as he sits in a chair.

Mai holds up a sign, stating “#JusticeforGrenfell.”

Back in her apartment, Mai continues to sit in her bathtub.

Rating: 5/5

Ella Mai leaves the house without any make-up on her face. She wears an old pair of sweatpants and sweater. It doesn’t really matter to her. She presses the button at the crosswalk and hears a racial slur aimed towards her.She puts her head down. She wants to know who it was and call them out. However, the person could have a gun or follow her. Regardless, she would be perceived as the aggressor in the situation and the person would be given a slap on the wrist. It was not worth risking her life.

A fortysomething man from Puerto Rico reads scrolls through his social media feed and reads the memes minimizing the tragedy of his home state. The meme states they aren’t American and that the aid should go to the veterans. He reports it as false news. A couple of days later, he receives a message stating that it didn’t violate the company’s standards.

The United States of America is on the only home the twentysomething Peruvian woman knows. Her parents immigrated to the states when she was a child. They wanted to give her a better life. For years, they have saved up money to become citizens. She worked extra shifts at her job to help her parents. They saw America as a land of hope. She applied for DACA status. Since 2016, she has lived in fear of ICE arresting her parents and never seeing them again. She has called her family’s immigration lawyer for reassurance. He says he’s doing all he can and stay calm. But she can’t. ICE could come for her at anytime.

Director: N/A Year: 2018

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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