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John Duff Gets 'Girly,' Channels Mariah, Beyoncé, Madonna In New Video

John Duff Gets 'Girly,' Channels Mariah, Beyoncé, Madonna In New Video

Drag queens Willam, Bianca Del Rio, and Mariah also make cameos!

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The message of John Duff's debut track 'Girly' is simple: he can dance in heels, flip his hair, and get as feminine as he damn well pleases.

If you're a fan of Mariah Carey, you'll instantly recognize the music video as an homage to the iconic 1999 hit 'Heartbreaker,' complete with the pink top and faded jeans, movie theater backdrop, and spot-on choreography. Batting his eyelashes with a chest full of hair, Duff opted for a gender-bent version of his favorite divas instead of donning drag. 

Duff opened up about his inspiration to Out Magazine, "So, one time, Jesus came to me in the middle of the night, and he was basically like, 'You need to do this. You’re going to make this music video, and you’re to be all of these women. You’re not going to do it in a wig. You’re going to do it in this masculine presentation because this is what you always wanted to do.'"

Duff "also thought maybe people would look at this and think, Isn’t it weird the way we let women portray their bodies and their sexualities, but if a man does it, it looks sort of strange?' So, I wanted to play on making people uncomfortable. And if it makes you uncomfortable, then why doesn’t it make you uncomfortable when a 19-year-old girl is doing it? Or like Mariah Carey was 28 when she filmed the “Heartbreaker” video, and I am as well. So, isn’t that weird that a 28-year-old woman is batting her eyes and doing that shit? It was very layered for me in terms of my humor and point.

The song and video are fun, sexy, and at many moments just downright hilarious. In addition to Mariah, Duff nods to Madonna, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, and Beyoncé. Drag Race alumni Willam, Mariah, and Bianca Del Rio also make some outrageous cameos. 

"I feel like in music, we’re missing some joy," Duff pointed out. "I don’t see pop stars presenting fun. I see a dark, sexual, honestly evil energy coming out of most popular music. I don’t want people to see what I’m doing as a parody. It’s not. It’s self-expression, and that’s what music is supposed to be. I can’t help it that I’m funny. But there’s a place for funny people, and there’s a place for happy people. I want people to feel happy and no pressure to be anything else."

As for the haters, Duff is too busy having a blast to notice. "I had a devastating experience when I was 21 and I was on The X Factor. Simon Cowell completely, offensively alluded that I was transgender and had not realized it yet. And Paula Abdul called me strange. For years, I thought I was never going to be able to work in this business because I’m too girly. And that’s what girly came from. Now I have more followers than the winner of that season of X Factor, so they can suck my dick."

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Taylor Henderson

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one! 

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one!