The nail in the coffin for all One Direction fans has finally arrived – Zayn Malik has officially launched his solo career, despite stating he left the group to live a more “normal” life. Since then, there’s been plenty of beef between the former member and the group, particularly between Zayn and Louis seemingly feuding on Twitter, but chat has recently moved on to Zayn dating model Gigi Hadid and his new music.
Malik dropped the new single “Pillowtalk” last night and the song is anything but a veiled attempt at talking about sex, in fact it’s a fairly raunchy account of it. Malik even told The Sunday Times “I think I’m pretty black and white about what it’s about. Everybody has sex, and it’s something people want to hear about”. While it’s difficult to watch Malik in the video because he looks as uncomfortable as ever in front of the camera (he appears genuinely petrified in all the individual shots), the video itself is even more provocative than the song, refusing to shy away from the, well, more ‘anatomical’ parts of the act, barely covered by blossoming flowers. P.S. Does anyone else think of Monica from F.R.I.E.N.D.S. they see the flowers?!
However that’s not the only thing that’s gotten chins wagging. The raunchy video is being praised for discussing the topic of sex without objectifying women. The video stars Gigi Hadid and Malik in what’s clearly a lover’s tryst but the main focus is their chemistry together, not her body. In fact the most frequent image of her is a close up on her face and she’s always fully dressed. It also features women of colour and portrays them as breathing art installations rather than objects of desire.
zayn was able 2 make a vid about sex without sexually objectifying women and instead comparing them 2 art and flowers,take notes #PillowTalk
— anna (@4nnakitty) January 29, 2016
not only are the lyrics gender neutral, but he’s also managed to make a sexual mv without sexualising women i’m in awe #PillowTalk
— georgie ♚ (@larryarehome) January 29, 2016
I love the video so much too because it celebrates the female body without objectifying it + includes women of colour #PillowTalk
— your girl alex (@vansandmgc) January 29, 2016
We just realised how sad it is to be praising someone for featuring a fully-clothed woman as the star of their video but such is the pathetic state of affairs, particularly in the music and advertising business. Did you see this video about how misogynistic imagery in the media?
While the raunchy video certainly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, we’ve got to give Zayn credit for refusing to cross the line between discussing sex and a man dominating his female counterpart, a cliché most music videos fall into. It’s clear that it was a thought process in writing and creating a video for “Pillowtalk”.
On a separate note, the video also has us wondering if the whole “Gigi and Zayn” thing was a bit of a publicity stunt. They’ve both been posting steamy pics of each other on their Instagrams as of late but Zayn recently denied rumours, calling them “just really good friends”. Perhaps the monochrome Instagrams were just a way of drumming up gossip for the new video and hey, it certainly worked.
— yansuso;; (@HARRYNGINANYO) January 29, 2016
Check out the video for yourself and let us know what you think: