Janelle Monáe's new song "PYNK" is funky, free-spirited, and nothing shy of fearless.
Along with the feminist anthem, the music video depicts a pink utopia of body-positivity with sweet, sweet subtext. We're talking cherry sundaes, melting popsicles, sprinkled donuts, grapefruit, bubblegum, a book on oysters, and ruffled pink pants that part to reveal Monáe's "Make Me Feel" video love interest, Tessa Thompson. There are vaginas and sexual innuendos everywhere, but they are done with respectful charm and a sense of humor.
This is a video that empowers people to love each other and love themselves, sexually, emotionally, and intellectually. Monáe challenges the passivity associated with pink stereotypes declaring that pink is where "all of it starts." Pink is the "great cosmic mother" and pink will "grab back." She nods at the beauty of all types of bodies and body hair — "pink, behind forest and thighs" — and tweeted that the song celebrates "US (no matter if you have a vagina or not) all around the world. We see you. We celebrate you."
"PYNK" follows "Make Me Feel" and "Django Jane," as the third song and music video released from Monáe's Dirty Computer, which she is calling an "emotion picture," defined as "a narrative film and accompanying musical album."
"This is an extremely vulnerable album," Monáe shared in a recent interview with Apple Music's Zane Lowe, "I hope that humanity connects to it — That those who are often times uncelebrated are getting the opportunity to shine and they have this album as a soundtrack to do it. That's my prayer." The multitalented artist confessed that she is "actually terrified" about how the public will react to the album." From the beginning of her career, she has known that this album is something she needed to do. She called it an "opportunity to choose honesty over mystery."
In 2014 Monáe told a young fan "never in a million years did I think that I would see a young black girl wanting to look like me... I just want you to know that you don't have to be perfect. Perfection is often the enemy of greatness. You are enough... and I hope to continue to make you proud." Years later, Monáe's art continues to honor women of color. She commemorates the history of Mary Jackson in Hidden Figures, and she celebrates phenomenal artists of color in her works, including "PYNK."
For more, check out Janelle Monáe's Zumic artist page.