For Janelle Monáe, Empowerment Comes In PYNK

By Andrea Thompson

So Janelle Monáe just dropped a new video, “PYNK,” yesterday, and it is...something. Something as in possibly the most open celebration of the vagina ever. Janelle Monáe dances in pussy pants. If you somehow haven't watched this video and think that's a euphemism, just see below:

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Monáe's latest music, such as “Django Jane” and “Make Me Feel” has been even more female-centric, but in this one she really doubles down, with practically every frame shaded pink and purple, a neon sign in the background reading “pussy power,” and lyrics like “Pink like the inside of your” while opening and closing those pants. In case the meaning is somehow lost on us, there's also images like grapefruit, with other lyrics such as “Pink like your fingers in my” and “Pink like your tongue going round.”

The video is also provocative in other ways:

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Also, how can you avoid a more political callback? It's already inspired Planned Parenthood.

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And since “PYNK” is another one of Monáe's best offerings, both musically and visually, it wouldn't be complete without Tessa Thompson being featured heavily. The duo is quickly becoming iconic, and here's hoping she keeps showing up. One of my favorite reactions to this video involves people calling Janelle Monáe and Thompson a “music video couple.” Uhh, really?

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Let's call it like it is. They're clearly ready, and so are we. I would go into detail about this, but Autostraddle already did. For me, I love how many different black women are in this video, and how Monáe manages to celebrate them even when she's sexualizing them.

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Draw your own conclusions about what else this is celebrating; it's not hard. The female gaze really does feel revolutionary in this, and it's a great sign of the times when something like this is mainstream. And if you've managed to miss this video, educate yourself: