I guess Avril Lavigne has changed. The bad girl from Canada (surely a paradox in itself) made a dubstep song and a video with possibly racist overtones. And some say much more.
It’s danceable. It’s goofy. The words remind me of actual conversations little girls have: “Let’s be friends forever”. “Pinky swear you’ll never tell it!” I’m also reminded of Robert Palmer’s “Simply Irresistible” video. In that video, identical, robot-like women dance behind him while he sings. Those ladies pout for the camera, hair slicked back above their empty eyes. Gwen Stefani did the Asian entourage gig first, I guess, from comments I read. Guess who’s also been called racist?
I’m no expert, but Ms. Lavigne seems to be spoofing the kawaii culture. Hello Kitty is very much a part of that world. Perhaps you’ve seen her before?
I think Avril is a genius. This song upset her fan base tremendously. It’s not punky hard or navel-gazing. It has no edge, no deep meaning. Or does it? Seems like a bit of sarcasm bleeds through. I mean, Avril’s wearing a leather bustier with the pink cupcake skirt, people. And are those garters or very skinny hip waders she’s wearing? Her bleached-blonde, shaved hair doesn’t look very “girly” to me. She’s taken on the sexual exploitation of little girls here and reminds us of innocence lost. She’s also riffing on the popular anime-manga phenomenon. She’s made the Asian dancers silent and glassy-eyed for a reason, I reckon. She’s making a statement.
She’s been called racist. She’s been branded a Ke$ha clone.
Really, she’s brilliant. Controversy gains attention. Outrage sells more albums. Period.
The truth is, we don’t know what Ms. Avril will do next. Nobody knows why she made this song. Yet. Perhaps Lavigne misses a more naive time in her life. Or perhaps she simply loves cupcakes. Sometimes a song is just a song. But she’s got the media’s attention now. Wasn’t that the point?