Watch: Lily Allen Blasts Miley Cyrus & Robin Thicke in “Hard Out Here,” Pisses People Off

Lily Allen Gets a Twerk Lesson in "Hard Out Here"

Lily Allen Gets a Twerk Lesson in “Hard Out Here”

Back from four years on hiatus, outspoken English singer-songwriter Lily Allen has come out swinging and she’s taking aim at a few fellow pop artists.

Her new video for “Hard Out Here” attacks pretty much everything that has been the norm in popular music lately:

  • Auto-tune abuse (why hasn’t this died off yet?)
  • Music executives and managers (aka old White men) driving artists’ decisions
  • Men defining women’s sexuality
  • Cultural obsession with plastic surgery
  • Expectations that women should “look perfect” at all times
  • Demand for women to be skinny immediately after pregnancy
  • Demand for women to be skinny even while 8 months pregnant
  • Blatant objectification and accessorizing of women, particularly women of color
  • Participation of women in their own objectification (and of other women)
  • White female pop stars appropriating a minority group’s sub-culture that they do not understand to raunch/sex up their marketing, e.g., Miley “Appropriatior” Cyrus
  • White female artists engaging in marketing tactics that look visibly uncomfortable, e.g., twerking when you suck at it
  • Excessive use of the word “bitch” in music to describe women or for women to reference themselves, e.g., this hot mess here
  • Media ignoring women who don’t subscribe to most of the above

Phew! The snarky jingle and its Christopher Sweeney -directed video essentially reject materialism, slut-shaming, fat-shaming, product placements in music videos, double standards towards sexuality for women, etc.

“Forget your balls and grow a pair of tits,” Lily sings through the most irritating auto-tune filter you’ve ever heard. “It’s hard, it’s hard, it’s hard here for a bitch.”

Lily’s jabs become specific when she mocks T.I. ‘s line in Robin Thicke ‘s summer hit, “Blurred Lines” asking, “Don’t you want someone who’s gonna objectify you? / Have you thought about your butt, who’s gonna tear it in two?”

She also pokes fun at Miley Cyrus licking sponsored products and recreates the “Robin Thicke has a big dick” balloons from the “Blurred Lines” video, spelling out “Lily Allen has a baggy pussy.”

Surrounded by half-naked, ass-shaking women pouring champagne on each other and dancing around a vehicle, there’s no question that Lily is targeting almost every rap music video as well.

The video’s attempt to “fight misogyny with misogyny” has outraged many viewers, some of which buss it wide open when Big Sean ‘s “Dance (A$$)” comes on.

The song’s sarcasm eventually takes a break for a more literal message: “Inequality promises that it’s here to stay / Always trust the injustice ’cause it’s not going away.”

Satire, irony and feminist tones abound, “Hard” manages to suffer from a bit of “my feminism is better than yours.”

And the real “irony” of the song is that it feeds into Eurocentric and patriarchal ideologies that suggest women who shake their asses are “brainless” or “animals.”

In any case, the track will likely appear on Lily’s currently untitled third studio album, which she has announced would be out at the end of 2013.

About the author  ⁄ theComplex

Editor-in-Chief at Sinuous Magazine, designer, and founder of NYC-based boutique design firm theComplex Media & Design. I've been designing for 14 years, writing on the internet for about the same, and I appear on radio and podcasts under the name "Lanaé Mc'Levans." Photographer and overall geek who is passionate about art, music, politics, technology, fashion, and women's issues. A serial day-dreamer. Foul-mouthed. Opinionated.

  • Alias Darker

    thanks lily