Scroll To Top
Women

WATCH: If You Don't Believe In Yourself John Legend Is Here to Validate You With 'You & I' Video

WATCH: If You Don't Believe In Yourself John Legend Is Here to Validate You With 'You & I' Video

WATCH: If You Don't Believe In Yourself John Legend Is Here to Validate You With 'You & I' Video

There's just something about John Legend's 'You & I' video and lyrics that don't match up and don't sit right with us.

Although critics are unanimously praising its beauty, John Legend has presented us with a bit of a conundrum with the video for his song “You & I (Nobody in the World).” The video is a visually stunning homage to women of various sizes, shapes, races, sexual orientations, health statuses, and so on. Tig Notaro and Laverne Cox appear, and the video even includes a lesbian couple. Visually, it’s gorgeous. There’s no disputing that, but when paired with the audio, it kind of becomes about Legend being there to validate you if you can’t do it yourself. And that’s just not the message we want to embrace. Yes, the intent of the video is all well and good, but on it’s face, there’s something less empowering about it. In fact. It doesn’t encourage women to empower themselves, but to let John Legend (or someone else) do it for the them.

The first verse essentially encourages a particular woman (in this case, Legend’s woman in the song, whomever she is), to stop applying make up because he thinks she looks good. By all means, when someone else tells you how great you are that should be the end of it whether you believe it yourself or not, right? The lyrics go on to say, “And if your mirror won't make it any clearer I'll be the one to let you know.” That’s nice, but doesn’t that encourage her to look outside for validation?

A later verse goes on to say, “You stop the room when we walk in/Spotlights on everybody staring/Tell all of these boys, they wasting their time/ Stop standing in line, cause your all mine.” That’s a lot of “we” and ownership for a video that’s being hailed as being about female empowerment.

There’s no denying that the video is stunning, and the audio is too if you don’t listen closely to the lyrics.

Maybe it’s just us, and we're sure he meant well, but there’s something about the juxtaposition of the images and lyrics that get under our skin. 

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

author avatar

Shewired Editors