Pretty When You Cry

Someone had recommended this song as the perfect track for a rather perverted evening. But, once I saw the music video, I was completely smitten with the entire package. Combining the play on fantasy, violence, and age regression, “Pretty as You Cry” provides you with the classic makings of a psychopath’s wet dream…

When I was a little girl I was fascinated by the story of Lil Red Riding Hood. The assumed innocent, boasting a red cape as if to persuade some form of perverse evil to follow her through the treacherous wood. In her basket are wholesome goodies; her hair is braided. Make her 8 or 18, regardless of what thoughts her mind possesses, she is the symbol of the young nymphet.. a girl-woman who will beg for degradation but is oblivious to its appearance. And when it does block her path, she is automatically the virginal victimized damsel. Oh, she’s heard about the big bad wolf. But, the power of goodness will prevail… right?

In this music video, the wolf is presumably played by the creepy fellow with the Jeffrey Dahmer-esque appeal (funny… Dahmer liked to eat his victims too). In the beginning, as our pigtailed beauty sleeps in the backseat, he drives her through a dark forest. I feel like I’ve been in both the driver’s seat and the slumbering passenger, wanting to corrupt or heading blindly towards corruption. My question is who is fantasizing about the mayhem to come? Did he imagine it to justify some unforeseeable evil he will unleash on his victim? Or is she dreaming of how her sweetness ultimately cripples him into being her most haunted and demented idolater?

What I enjoy most about this scenario is that wonderful complex relationship between goodness and power. Red Riding Hood is sweet, sure, but she is powerful because he holds her in such high regard. And, as the music video dictates, his obsession over her is destructive for the both of them. Like the doll she carries close to her breast, she is an object(ified beauty) that begs to be destroyed. She’s just too good, too beautiful and just too much for him to bear. And he goes crazy for her and everything she symbolizes. Her beauty becomes an ugly midget-monster that stabs him with scissors, punishing him for his lustful infatuation (Also a form of penetration that’s laced with sexual euphemism… just my opinion). At the end of the music video, it makes sense that he watches her and smiles. She doesn’t even know what she does to him… she deserves whatever he will give her. That’s love.

Two words will conclude this little tidbit on “Pretty When You Cry”: Mommy Issues. Do I believe that we all have parental “issues” (Not an issue, per se… the word connotes something defected or broken) that inevitably affect our relationships with others? Hell yes! How can we not? Our parents are the first people we know, love, revere, resent, despise and hopefully accept and/or tolerate. And they bear the burden of “the sex talk.” Of course, this can become anything from straight-up denial to hardcore punishment should their brood feel the need to be sexually expressive. In the music video, our Lil Red Riding Hood’s translucent, youthful face deforms into that of an old crone in pigtails, slightly mocking and funny considering the circumstances. At one moment, she cradles him. The next moment, she teases. Then, she punishes him. She leads him to a house built a sweetness and into the hell of his own psyche. Reminds me of my mom… and me. How fucked up is that?

Anyway, I hope this music video filled you with as much as anxiety, desperation, and arousal as it did for me.

  1. love the music ad adore the vid, off to download for the drive to work tomorrow xx

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