Song Rating: 10/10 | Music Video Rating: 10/10
The queen is back! Always happy to see Jolin continue to make music after so many years. Despite being a veteran in the industry, she’s always still coming up with new things and honestly is one of the hardest working artists I know of.
I love Jolin’s recent approaches to her music. She was really matured as a true artist. She always brings a very high level of quality to her work. Although now she seems to have a lot more fun and thought with her music, she is as hardworking as ever.
Ugly Beauty is evidence of self growth and self love. Throughout her career, she had been known to take every aspect of her life very seriously, especially her body. She keeps a stricter watch on her diet than any artist but still becomes subject to a lot of criticism. While the music video is fun, satirical, dramatized, it serves a very meaningful and important message. Ugly Beauty is Jolin throwing away the care for other people’s opinions. She is doing what she feels is good for her now and encourages others to do the same. There is no need to succumb to societal standards for beauty.
The video is a satirical gesture towards criticism of beauty in our society which Jolin was subjected to extensively. What I love about this video is that in all the scenes, the people preventing her from living how she wants, is herself. The opening screen is very well put together collage of different film sets. If you look closely, they are all sets from previous music videos and the current one.
You begin with a courthouse scene where the defendant’s crime is not achieving the standard ideal of beauty. Both the criminal and the judge is Jolin.
The next set is a well designed Chinese restaurant. They did a good job tastefully creating a traditional Chinese restaurant you may find in any Chinatown.
Over here, she is forced to eat vegetables only by the waitress, which is herself!
In the next set, Jolin becomes a patient almost as if she’s in an insane asylum. The doctor trying to make her pretty, is also herself.
Throughout the video, she takes on different personas, each of them critical about her appearance, and in the end they rise above all the judgement. You realize her as a patient, was sick with judgement from everyone. This is evident when she proceeds to vomit out all the emojis. Back at the restaurant, she eats whatever she wants instead of just vegetables. And the closing scene, the criminal hugs the judge, herself.
Jolin doesn’t cut corners with her videos. Everything from the set design to the outfits are all carefully considered. My favorite is her measuring tape outfit. Not only is the color and style flattering for her, the idea of always measuring yourself corresponds to the whole message of the video.
Jolin’s choreography aren’t complicated like idol group dances as the focus is on the music. The choreography here does what it has to without robbing any attention from the main message.