In case you missed it, Beyoncé took over the world this week, again. Blue Ivy’s mom covered Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People issue and publicly released her “Pretty Hurts” video along with a viral campaign called #whatispretty. Who runs the world?
The #whatispretty campaign asks fans to define what the word means to them via Instagram photos and videos with the hashtag. It dovetails with the message behind the star’s new clip, which tackles the harmful effects of aspirational beauty standards.
In “Pretty Hurts,” Beyoncé plays a lovely beauty queen on a competitive stage, but when the camera follows all that she had to endure to arrive at that place — bulimia, poor body image, insecurity, plastic surgery, verbal abuse about her weight from fashion monsters — it just doesn’t seem worth it.
“The concept of the video is a behind the scene look at beauty and how it doesn’t bring you happiness and it doesn’t move you forward in life,” Melina Matsoukas, the clip’s director, told MTV News.
Last year during her self-titled album's viral video series, Beyoncé explained that her inspiration for selecting the Sia-penned song was her own exhaustion from working so hard for so many years.
"You get this trophy and you're like, 'I have basically starved, I have neglected all of the people that I love, I've conformed to what everybody else thinks I should be and I have this trophy,' " Beyoncé says. "What does that mean? The trophy represents all of the sacrifices I've made as a kid and all of the time that I lost, being on the road and in studios and I just want to blow that shit up."
For the #whatispretty campaign, Beyoncé seems to be paying her realization forward so others don't become mesmerized by the final product and forget all of the often unhealthy foolishness it took to become Beyoncé.