We have just one small problem with John Legend’s video for ‘You & I (Nobody In The World)’

07.11.14 3 years ago

Following “All of Me,” John Legend continues his “most-sensitive-man-in-the-world” campaign with the video for new single, “You & I (Nobody In The World).”

The song follows the same trajectory as “All of Me,” in which he declares his love for a women-she is perfect just as she is in his eyes even as she continues to fuss with her make up and clothing.

The video features shots of women, girls, and toddlers of all shapes and sizes, races and ages  looking straight into the camera as if it it were a mirror, adjusting their hair, scrutinizing their faces and bodies, and displaying the general amount of fine-tuning  and judging women constantly do to themselves in an effort to meet some ridiculously high standard of beauty.  Some of the most moving images include an older woman removing her wig to show a bald head, as well as a woman taking off her shirt following a double mastectomy, and cancer survivor/comedian Tig Notaro. Transgender actress Laverne Cox, who was nominated for an Emmy yesterday in the guest actress comedy category, also appears.

On the face of it, the video is truly lovely and a message that women can't hear enough because there are so many messages that tell us every day that we are not good enough just as we are and I like the song (what woman wouldn't want to hear that from her partner?) Perhaps I”m being too cynical, but the video”s message might be a little more impactful if the woman Legend is telling “you don”t even have to try” didn”t just happen to be one of the most beautiful women in the world, his wife, Chrissy Teigen, who appears with Legend in the beginning and end of the video. There”s exactly one woman in this video who apparently truly meets his standard and it is his super model wife.  But, hey, super models get to have their insecure moments as well and maybe it's wrong to doubt the video's sincerity simply because Legend married to someone gorgeous.  My non-cynical side would like to believe that women's romantic partners the world over feel this way about their girlfriends/wives, even if they won't ever be on the cover of the swimsuit edition of “Sports Illustrated.” Or maybe they're just trying to get them out of the door a little faster. As Legend sings, “You were fine in my eyes a half hour ago.”

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