“You and I” – John Legend

Thursday, July 24, 2014 Of Minds And Mixtapes 0 Comments

For a generation familiar (to varying degrees) with the ubiquitous pressure put on women to be perfect — the image that women have to be a certain size, wear certain clothes and makeup — this video's note is refreshing.
Instead of loving themselves for their imperfections, young women and older women alike have systematically and not-so-subtly internalized the unrealistic idea of 'perfection', making them terrified of the notion of being anything other than 'perfect'. And it's not just the men who are imposing these ideas on women (It's not men running "thinspiration" Pinterest boards). Look closely and you'll see women are consistently more critical of other women than men are to women. 

If you liked John Legend’s "All of me" you’re gonna love "You and I". It’s heartbreaking and heart warming at the same time, and definitely more beautiful. "You and I" sheds some light on the toll this pressure takes leading women to feel like they're never enough — attractive enough, thin enough, sexy enough. Apart from the cameo by Legend’s supermodel wife Chrissy Teigen at 0:10 and Emmy nominee Laverne Cox at 02:17, the most powerful fraction of the video is the dozens of other women who step up to the camera (their mirror) – girls with scars, transgendered women, bald women, curvy ladies, girls with special needs, extremely thin women and a woman who examines her body post-mastectomy - who squint, glare, appraise and weep in front of their mirror.
"All of the stars you make them shine like they were ours
Ain't nobody in the world but you and I"
The lyrics are a bit cliché (It'll be exciting when someone comes out with a song called, "You're smart and I like it!"), but the video is nonetheless inspiring! Of course it's silly to think that attitudes towards beauty, self worth and weight will change over night — especially while we hear contradictory fads everywhere we go. But surely one can identify their most remarkable and deepest values in a life well spent. This might just help shed the notion that that we (and/or our friend, our neighbour, our daughter, our sister, our partner, our ex) 'should' be doing x-y-z for beauty.