VIDEO GLAM: Erykah Badu's "Window Seat": Why I Want to Be Naked Too

Erykah Badu is truly an icon. For her latest video, she ditched the eccentric clothes, the famous afro, even the Rick James-inspired style she rocked last week on the Wendy Williams show, for a raw, naked look. Yes, naked as in butterball, butt naked. Click here to see the video.

The neo-soul icon gave the ultimate artistic expression when she walked confidently down the Dallas street where JFK was assassinated, disrobing with every step.  By the end, as Erykah stands naked in broad daylight surrounded by unsuspecting passersby, a shot rings out, her head snaps and she falls to her death, with blue blood flowing from her that reads "Group Think." Whoa.

The concept is so deep and freeing. I emphatically applaud her. It's open to interpretation, but my take is that it isn't pure nudity, or sexuality like we've seen in previous videos (i.e. Lady Gaga's nudity in Telephone). As Erykah disrobes, she's shedding her "group mentality" and freeing her body and also, her mind and spirit. She's boldly and fearlessly expressing her individuality and defying the group's way of thinking, mirroring what JFK did as President. Many believe he was assassinated for his unique, bold ideology and so too, was Erykah, once she was completely free and naked at the end of the video. It's art, people. The video is loaded with meaning.

It fits with the lyrics of the song as she sings that she is searching for a "place to fly, a place to cry" alone with "no one next to" her. I get that concept. I always take the Window Seat on planes for that reason. To be in my head, free from distractions and opinions and judgments, and to just be at peace with me. It is an empowering, peaceful place, alone, staring into the sky---and it's all the more commendable that Erykah was able to find that place of individualism and emotional nakedness surrounded by people. I wish I could be that free (figuratively, not literally. So don't worry, no naked strolls down Times Square in my future).

Of course, that concept, which is substantiated by Erykah's recent tweets (@fatbellybella), flies above people's heads. But she could care less. And of course, most people are harboring over the fact that she has a great butt. Which flatters her (she's retweeted several comments about it) but they're also missing the point. And again, she could care less.

The booty scene isn't merely powerful because she's got amazing curves, but because it marks the first time she is truly defying social decorum, by walking down the street in her undies. The power isn't just in her shape, but in her body language. She's not ashamed, or sexualized, which are the two ways women appear when they are nude in public. She's confident, brave and at peace. She's in her world, strutting proudly and freely like a Queen, while in regular black panties and in the midst of everyday folk who scream that she's insane.

I don't plan on disrobing down a Dallas street, but I live for artistic expression and commend Erykah's. While points about traumatized children are valid, I think criticism that she's "stripping" to sell records reduce her beautiful video and profound concept. Erykah is, and always has been, much more than sex.

What do you think? How did you interpret the video? Do you commend Erykah or believe it was in poor taste? Discuss.



1 comment:

Camille. said...

i looove the way this post was written.

truly beautiful.

thank you for this awesome interpretation of an incredible video..

the concept and everything about this song are amazing.

we are truly blessed to have Badu as 1 of the artists of our time!!!!

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