The music video for Sam Smith’s “I’m Not Here To Make Friends” is a visually stunning masterpiece that empowers people to be true to themselves.
Sam Smith rejecting societal expectations
The powerful imagery of Sam Smith breaking free from traditional gender and sexual stereotypes. The singer, who uses they/them pronouns, new music video is a powerful statement that encourages viewers to embrace their unique identities and reject societal expectations.
Hyper-sexualisation or Freedom of Expression?
One of the criticisms that has been levelled at Sam Smith’s “I’m Not Here To Make Friends” music video is that it is hyper-sexualized. Some viewers and critics have argued that the video relies heavily on sexual imagery and suggestive movements to convey its message of self-expression and breaking free from societal norms and expectations.
One aspect of the video that has been criticised for being hyper-sexualized is the depiction of Smith’s body. Throughout the video, Smith is shown in various stages to undress, and appear in suggestive poses, which some argue objectifies and sexualizes his body.
Another aspect of the video that has been criticised for being hyper-sexualized is the choreography and infamous “water” scene. The video features Smith performing a variety of dance moves that are traditionally associated with femininity, as well as visual innuendos of references to sexual acts, which some critics argue that these moves are used to sexualize Smith to make they more appealing.
Mission Diverse would argue, the problem with this suggestion is that it infers hyper-sexualization detracts from its message of self-expression and empowerment, by implying it reduces Smith to a sexual object rather than celebrating themselves as an individual with a unique identity. Additionally, this reinforces harmful stereotypes that men should be hyper-masculine and that femininity is something to be ashamed of… Which veers into Andrew Tate territory… And nobody wants that.
Sam Smith Breaking The Idea of Gender and Sexual Identity
One key aspect of the video is that it shows Smith breaking free from societal norms and expectations, particularly in regards to gender and sex role stereotypes. Throughout the video, Smith is shown wearing clothing and accessories that are traditionally associated with femininity, and performing dance moves that are typically associated with women. This can be seen as a powerful statement about the fluidity of gender and the right of individuals to express themselves in ways that may not conform to traditional gender roles.
Diversity amongst the LGBTQ+ community
Additionally, the video also celebrates the diverse LGBTQ+ community and promotes acceptance of all individuals, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. The imagery in the video is not meant to objectify or sexualize Smith’s body, but rather to empower them to express themselves in ways that may not be considered traditionally masculine.
Another aspect of the video is that it is not only about Smith, but it is also about a wider community, as it features a diverse cast of individuals expressing themselves in various ways, that can be seen as a representation of a society that is becoming more accepting and open-minded.
The video also features a diverse group of LGBTQ+ individuals, who are also breaking free from societal norms and embracing their true selves, which is an important message.
Translating into the workplace
Now, before people start creating strawman arguments, we’re not saying encourage employees to turn up to work in a corset.
We’re simply speaking in relation to encouraging conversations, awareness and learning about freedom of gender and sexual orientation expression. Which should be afforded equally to your LGBTQ+ employees as you would your heterosexual and cisgendered staff. In the workplace, this can lead to a more inclusive and accepting environment for LGBTQ+ employees, which can lead to increased productivity, collaboration, and overall job satisfaction.
Should you want to increase your employees, managers, and senior leaders’ awareness on LGBT+ topics, Mission Diverse provides LGBTQ+ training and monthly diversity consulting to help you create a more inclusive workplace. We support “how to have conversations without causing offence”, “pronouns’ ‘, “microaggressions” and more.
Furthermore, in today’s globalised and diverse world, it’s more important than ever for workplaces to adopt a similar mindset to the one portrayed in the music video. Companies that embrace diversity and inclusion are more likely to attract and retain top talent, as well as to better understand and serve their diverse customer base.
In conclusion, while the “I’m Not Here To Make Friends” music video may have elements that can be interpreted as hyper-sexualized, it can also be argued that the video is about freedom of expression, challenging societal norms and celebrating diversity. The video is a reflection of the evolving world in which we live, and it promotes the idea that individuals should be free to express themselves in whatever way they see fit.
… Also, if you’re not a fan of the video… Sam did warn you that they were not here to make friends.