Pink released the music video for the title track of her latest album, Beautiful Trauma, days after her adrenaline-filled performance at the American Music Awards.
The video—which starred Channing Tatum as her counterpart and husband—channels suburbia through kitschy period costumes and sets. The pair plays a fictional couple, Fred and Ginger Hart, who seemingly live a traditional 1950s lifestyle on the surface.
The production quality of the video alone warrants a watch; each shot is visually stunning. From the all-pink house to the all-pink bedroom, the level of detail and thought that went into each shot is astounding.
“Beautiful trauma” begins with a glimpse into Pink’s shared bedroom. Wearing an over-the-top pink lace nightgown, Pink awakens and stretches in a way reminiscent of a Disney princess.
Once the camera pans out, viewers can see the side-by-side twin beds that Pink and Tatum sleep in — reminiscent of 1950s sitcoms. The scene acts as a piece of comedic irony, contrasting with both Pink and Tatum’s known reputations as sex icons throughout their careers.
The video progresses with various shots of Pink trying and failing to be a perfect housewife, from cooking conundrums to burning a hole in her husband’s shirt with an iron. These moments feel lighthearted and funny, especially when compared to the rebellious and independent pop star we have come to know over the years. All the while, her husband reads the newspaper nonchalantly, as his wife does all of the work.
Pink and Tatum act as caricatures of the period, through their parody of American suburban expectations.
The shift in the video begins as Pink grabs one pill bottle (of many) from her kitchen cupboard. Her attention turns, as she begins singing sweetly her love song to the pill bottle.
It is obvious from this narrative that Ginger the housewife is unsatisfied with her present circumstances, and uses drugs as her only escape.
The vision of the ideal nuclear family begins teetering even more as Ginger catches her husband trying on her clothes inside of her closet. Instead of reacting negatively, she assists him in applying lipstick — before dressing in drag herself. The couple, now both cross-dressing in each other’s clothes, for the first time, looks happy, as Ginger tenderly leads Fred in a dance, and the color scheme becomes distorted.
Through dramatic lighting changes, angles and other visual effects, the cinematography depicts a drug trip — contrasting with the 1950s scenery.
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The couple seems happiest, quite frankly, when they are under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and are finally able to step out of their rigid, strictly defined narratives and roles.
The couple’s party transpires into a risqué S&M scene, as Tatum is shown tied and restrained, and Pink appears wearing pleather lingerie with another woman by her side. The video, now choppier and more distorted over its duration, reveals that everything is not what it appears.
The story closes, with the Hart couple back in their pajamas and matching Mr. and Mrs. night masks, in their separate beds.
Overall, the video’s high production value, incredible costume design and comical, over-the-top storyline feels right at home for Pink, and reinvents her role as a pop icon.