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Sometimes you have to be a little grateful that music videos are no longer a major part of pop culture. You can enjoy the hell out of a song, taking the lyrics as whatever you want them to mean, and then a music video comes along and makes the whole thing seem… gross. I had been deliberately avoiding the video for Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" for that reason, hearing rumors of its flagrant nudity and alleged misogyny and choosing to just enjoy the song at dance parties instead. But now the same thing is happening for a song I've been dancing to for months, Justin Timberlake's "Tunnel Vision." The video is out, and just like the original version of "Blurred Lines," it's full of nudity. You've been warned-- this is quite NSFW.
Stereogum points out some similarities between this and "Blurred Lines" beyond the female nudity, namely the presence of a stubbled, fully-dressed male singer in front of a white background. Check out the uncensored version of "Blurred Lines" below to make more of the comparison for yourself… though, you've been warned, if you're easily grossed out by leering men, this might set you off. Also, obviously, NSFW.
The story in The Daily News is that the "Tunnel Vision" video has been banned from YouTube, but that's not exactly true-- if you visit the site you're given a warning that the content is explicit, but the video remains hosted on Timberlake's official YouTube Vevo page. The only version of "Blurred Lines" on Vevo (via YouTube), though, remains the cleaner version, with the women fully-dressed (though in much skimpier clothing than the men, and still getting leering glances from Thicke, T.I. and Pharrell). Is a double standard in place? Do we keep Timberlake's "Tunnel Vision" with a simple warning because he's still a bigger star than Thicke? Because the nudity is a little less in-your-face? Or did YouTube get enough backlash over totally banning "Blurred Lines" that they decided to hang on to "Tunnel Vision" despite the nudity?
You could argue it's because the nudity in the Timberlake video is a little more "artistic," and the lyrics aren't nearly as explicit as those in "Blurred Lines"-- you're talking about "I look around and everything I see is beautiful/Cause all I see is you" vs. "I know you want it/But you're a good girl/The way you grab/Must wanna get nasty." But as much as I wish neither video existed, and that anybody could think of a way to use women in music videos without turning them into objects, it would be nice if YouTube-- the default MTV of our times-- would at least come up with some consistent standards. Any female singers who want to make a video crammed with nude male background dancers, the gauntlet has officially been thrown.