So someone just sent me the video for Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend.” Before I tell you what I think of the video I should make it clear that a) I like Robyn and b) I don’t quite understand why hipsters decided they like Robyn.
The video features Robyn just hanging out and dancing around in a warehouse. It looks like a cross between Kanye West’s “Runaway” (which looks like it cost a fortune to look like it didn’t) and Feist’s “One Two Three Four” which is very choreographed. What I like so much about this video, other than the fact that I currently have the same haircut Robyn is sporting and that she reminds me of the lead singer of Roxette, is that her image isn’t quite right. Her sweater is kinda ugly—it’s almost cool in a Kathleen Hanna kinda way but just falls short. Her pants are, probably, just ugly. She is clearly trying for the right image but doesn’t quite get there—which makes it the right image. I don’t mean that ironically. Robyn just seems to have forged a balance between reality and fantasy like dance artists in the UK have been doing for years. Unlike the droves of supermodels, A-list actresses, etc. who like to talk about how ugly and unpopular they were in high school, watching this video I can imagine Robyn describing herself as not fitting in, albeit genuinely. In fact, part of me wonders if she had that sweater in high school. I have no delusions that Robyn’s image is fabricated but this video makes it seem less fabricated. Or at least a genuine fabrication. Compare how she looks to Lady Gaga. I don’t mean in that she is less truly outrageous than Gaga. It just seems like she spent less time planning what to wear. I imagine that Lady Gaga gets up a say, 11:30 in the morning, spends the next two minutes writing her next song and the next twelve hours or so after that finding the perfect outfit to wear between the hours of 1AM and 3AM.
And her dancing—I love it. I don’t know who choreographed this (I also don’t want to know) but I suspect Robyn did herself—in the sixth grade. Her first few dances moves look like my dancing.[i] Significantly, unlike Kanye and Feist who both invited a tonne of people to hang out in a warehouse while they sing, Robyn is all alone. It isn’t that no one wants to dance with her. She just wants to have a dance party by herself. Yet again, Robyn is dancing by herself.
[i] I have no idea how to dance.