Last night, there was an uproar of coverage regarding Justin Timberlake’s “Tunnel Vision” music video. At first, I assumed that it would be something ridiculous like “Blurred Lines.” (Side note: I can’t deny that I don’t like that song, but after all the heat in the press about that video, I’m not very happy with how Mr. Thicke is portraying himself now. And he’s married so none of this is adding up. Anyway…) As you all know, it has been banned from YouTube and labeled as “explicit”. Going in, I knew what to expect: boobs, boobs, and more boobs.
But shame on me for having doubts about JT. To be honest, I thought that the nudity was tastefully done. The women aren’t prancing around topless, shaking their racks at the camera. Instead, their naked bodies move within a cloud of smoke that fills a dark room, teasing the eye of the beholder while a fully clothed Justin Timberlake dances alone.
So what is the story behind this video anyway? First off, let’s remember that Justin Timberlake is a married man. With that being said, almost every single song on “The 20/20 Experience” is about his wife, Jessica Biel. On this track in particular, JT shares some personal insight on his wife and how clear it is to him that she is the one. I see his angle- he’s got “tunnel vision” for Jessica; all he sees and wants is her. His wife has literally changed his perception. “Didn’t I seem like I’m catching something/ That’s because it’s true/ I can’t deny it, and I won’t try it but I think that you know/ I look around and everything I see is beautiful ’cause all I see is you/ And I can’t deny it and I stand by it, and I won’t hide it anymore.”
Nothing about this song or Timberlake’s actions in the video insinuates the degradation of women. In fact, JT is embracing women- ONE WOMAN. His wife. (Perhaps it would have made a little more sense if Jessica Biel was featured in the video, but I completely understand why she isn’t.) If you don’t get that, you will completely misinterpret the meaning behind this video. Now if that makes sense and the nudity makes you uncomfortable, that’s totally fine, but don’t come after Timberlake because of your personal problem. We all know what a naked body looks like- we have bodies of our own. Do you get squeamish every time you take off your clothes? I hope not. Now do I want to watch a video with breasts flashing across the screen for almost 7 minutes? Well, that’s not exactly a personal preference of mine, but I was not bothered or offended by any of the nudity in this video because there is an appropriate purpose behind it.
I feel like we’re all waiting for the day that men swallow their pride or shed some dignity and strip down, but I don’t know when that day will come. And as far as this video was concerned, I don’t think that doing such a thing would have really been necessary. (Though I would NOT mind if Justin Timberlake went nude. I mean, come on, we’ve basically seen all of him thanks to “Friends With Benefits.”) But I respect Justin Timberlake and I approve of what he has done with this video. It takes a true visionary to pull off something like this, therefore I can appreciate the nudity because it was used in an artistic manner.
JT: 1, RT: 0
“Now that I know the truth, what am I supposed to do?
Changing up and breaking all my rules ever since we met
I’m so gone, I’m so gone, I’m so gone
Just like a movie shoot, I’m zooming in on you
Everything is extra, in the background, just fades into the set
As we ride off into the sun”