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Rita Ora’s “Girls” Music Video Doubles Down on Problems in the Song

Rita Ora’s song “Girls” had a lot of backlash, as well as conversations around it about what its intent was and how it depicted women loving women. While I found the song boring, I also felt like it could be a part of a positive sexual experience for someone out there, so I chose not to fully dismiss it.

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For some lesbian and queer artists, like Hayley Kiyoko and Kehlani, the song seemed dismissive and “tone deaf” about how it portrayed women loving women. Rita Ora responded by coming out as bisexual (Cardi B reminded everyone that she is also bisexual) and saying that the song was reflective of “a real and honest experience in [her] life,” but also apologized if the song hurt anyone. That being said, despite Ora’s fairly thoughtful response to the criticism, the video we got for the song doubles down on all of the things people were concerned about in the song.

“Objectifying gaze”? Check.
“Girls standing around not actually doing anything with girls”? Check.

Where is the red wine? Where is the kissing? Why am I only seeing close-ups of lips and bras and handholding? While hologram Rita Ora and Cardi B do share a smooch, much like what I’ve written before when it comes to too many same-sex kisses on film, it’s a dull and lifeless kiss. I’ve seen both of these actresses show more passion in other videos.

The whole The Beguiled aesthetic, with a peppering of darker skinned girls to make it look slightly more diverse, is just so boring, not to mention there’s no real diversity of body types. It’s just so beige and uninspired, especially during pride month!

I’m not saying that everything gay has to be happy, joyful, bombastic, but it could at least be … gay. Nothing about this is queer except for the Cardi B/Rita Ora kiss, despite this entire song being about kissing girls. There are hints of other kissing going on, but nothing we see onscreen.

Maybe I’m crazy, but I find women in nice blazers and/or vests to be much more attractive than a woman running around in the forest in her negligee. The reason Supergirl’s Lena Luther is such a thirst object for gay women is that she’s smart, beautiful, and dresses like a femme CEO all the time. Not to mention all the women in the video look really uninterested in anything other than a nap.

What people are looking for is a genuine experience, and while I will not dismiss Rita Ora or Cardi’s bisexuality, the video doesn’t seem like a genuine expression of anything—not what’s in the song and certainly not anything about women loving other women. I mean, even the wigs are dry.

What do you think of the video? Let us know below.

(via Youtube, image: Screengrab)

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.

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