Watching this video, a video which I must say accompanies a very good song, has awoken something in me: an idea of sexy which I had completely disassociated from and became numb to because it was rooted in ”being sexy”. This idea of being ”sexy” has had women by the throat playing into the existing parameters of being sexual objects for men, sometimes even objectifying themselves under the guise of owning their sexuality. I’m referring here to a library of music videos from the last 16 years when taking it off was the prerequisite to being a global pop star. I was never touched by a half naked Ciara, Beyonce, Rihanna, Nikki etc as I am for some reason touched by Teyana Taylor in this Kanye West video. To me, the former, as much as I love their music, were never sexy in the way I find Teyana in this video incredibly sexy. I’ve been thinking about why.
First of all, the immediate reference that came to mind when watching this sister’s powerful dance moves was Rosie Perez at the start of the film Do The Right Thing. Like Rosie in that opening sequence, Teyana is moving, quite powerfully, by herself and for herself. I like that there’s no man present for most of the video, that she’s in a work out space but not a slave to the machines, she’s in the typical form of that famous saying ”dancing like nobody’s watching”. Her moves, like Rosie’s, are powerful, rhythmic, you need to be strong to pull them off. They ward of energy as powerfully as they draw it in. This is not dancing. This is movement that is in conversation with some other force especially when she’s doing some of those African moves, where she’s crouching and waving. There are trance inducing poses and moves that make the body a tool for much more than just sex in this instance, although you definitely are made to think of sex while watching this. Every contour of her dark brown body is a wonder to be respected for its presence and not marvelled for its abilities or imposed superhumanness. For me anyway. How she moves to the song makes me want to go home, put this on a projector, wear the exact same outfit and move in honour of my body, alone. Not to compare them but somebody in the comments wrote ”Imagine if this was Kim” and it got 157 thumbs up and no thumbs down” and I thought no shem guys, wrong answer. Kim’s sexy is not Teyana’s sexy. Teyana in this video is self referencial and that’s why it works. It’s a confident sexy that can be turned into a space animal after fucking its husband in the shower. I don’t know what those rams are about in the end but the presence of this other worldly woman and her husband and baby speak of something that makes sense to me on a subconscious level. It is perfect and iconic and I think will be remembered, like Spike Lee’s Rosie, for years to come.