Sometimes a good video can make a mediocre song much more interesting. Such is the case with Keri Hilson’s clip for “Pretty Girl Rock.” In the video, Hilson walks us through a very brief and selective history of influential female music makers in history, while the “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” refrain, made popular in an ‘80s commercial for Pantene, repeats endlessly.
She pays homage to Josephine Baker in the beginning, although she rocks some moves that Baker would never have done in public. “Back that think up, Josie!” We don’t think so.
She then moves into the ‘40s with a salute to the girl groups who kept our WW ll troops excited about something to come home to She then advances to the Supremes and a solo Miss Diana Ross, from her disco era. Although the song’s “all the ladies” line is a clear homage to Beyonce, it’s Janet Jackson and the ladies from TLC who get the most love in the salutes to “Rhythm Nation” and “Creep.”
It’s a fun video. The song, however, remains absolutely paper thin and not even remotely girl-empowering. As my colleague Katie Hasty hilariously wrote when the single -- written by Ne-Yo -- came out, it’s full of mixed messages, so it’s best not to think too hard about it and just "rock, rock, rock." Especially if you're pretty. And you know you are.
Hilson’s new album, “No Boys Allowed,” comes out Nov. 30.