On her first original song since 2009, and its accompanying video, Londoner Lily Allen attempts, in her words, “lighthearted satirical parody,” but does it in such ham-handed fashion that the pop singer herself seems to have foreseen a puzzled reaction.
“If you can’t detect the sarcasm,” she chirps on Hard Out Here (a tardy, musically limp retort to Three 6 Mafia’s Academy Award-winning It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp), “you’ve misunderstood.”
Indeed, plenty in the blogosphere have been confused by the lampoon, which involves booty-baring black women twerking, while the fully-clothed Allen smirks away.
Online commentators accused her of racism, but also questioned her use of female dancers at all. If the video is supposed to be a statement on pop culture’s objectification of women, and a feminist response to Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines, wouldn’t male dancers make more sense?
Allen’s tweeted reply to the controversy only confused matters further. “It has nothing to do with race,” she claimed, even though lyrics reference hip-hop tropes. As for the video’s industry-typical use of scantily clad women, Allen said this: “If I could dance like the ladies can, it would have been my arse on your screens.”
No worries, Lily, you revealed plenty.