Charli XCX released a music video for her new single “Boys” on Wednesday and in the time since, I have not been the same. For one, I must contend with the fact that I now know what Charlie Puth looks like—and that I think he’s attractive, god help me. I must also grapple with my (totally plausible) queer-girl conspiracy theory that this video was funded by the Straight Agenda as a ploy to remind queer women that men exist. Just a thought!
Pitchfork published a piece yesterday parsing the actual concept behind the video, which was Charli’s interest in “[flipping] the male gaze on its head,” as she described it to BBC Radio 1. “Boys” responds to the way women are traditionally styled in music videos by having 60 male hotties featured in the same way, but taking the conceit to a place that’s over the top and charmingly ridiculous.
Even the shots in the video that did not feature Tom Daley in a dripping wet t-shirt were stylized to reflect the objectifying tropes the video is responding to. After watching “Boys” Too Many Times at 0.25 speed, I’ve put my eyeballs back in my head and assembled some of the best screengrabs that you likely missed.