Main cast: Mya (Sophisticated Marmalade), Pink (Boxxie Marmalade), Lil’ Kim (Foxy Marmalade), Christina Aguilera (Ewok Marmalade), and Missy ‘Misdemeanor’ Elliott (Mama Marmalade)
Director: Paul Hunter
Talk about ghastly. The music video for this newest remake of Patti Labelle’s 1975 hit Lady Marmalade is released in conjunction with the movie it is taken from, Moulin Rouge. As this song is about a prostitute, the music video takes on this theme. Ladies and gentlemen, Missy Elliot presents to you the Four Whores of the New Millennium.
The video is… ghastly. But it’s ghastly in a beautiful-macabre way that I just can’t take my eyes off it whenever it’s on air.
The song is a pretty faithful cover of the original, with a few lyrical tamperings here and there. What makes this cover stand out is because it has four female vocalists fighting for the spotlight. I can only wonder how much blood has been spilled before they decided on listing the singers’ names by alphabetical order on the credits. And I hope nobody dies of a heart attack after seeing the video.
The video starts off with Mya. She looks good, classy, like a high-priced whore in her garter costume. She even swishes what seems like a dominatrix chain for good measure. The rod becomes essential in her repertoire of suggestive moves. Despite her get-up, she looks classy. Nice. She must have suckered up to the wardrobe department to survive this video with her dignity intact.
Her moves are also graceful and tantalizing, just enough discretion and tease in the mix to be successful.
Pink. Err… The black, lacy, see-thru bra and panties would look flattering on a woman who has waist and thighs, but Pink just doesn’t have it. Watching her grab her crotch and swagger around as if there are red ants crawling in her undies makes me wonder if she is channeling a drag queen version of Michael Jackson. Pink is channeling a drag queen ghoul version of Michael Jackson. And one more thing: Too. Much. Mascara. How could she even open her eyes is beyond me. So much red and pink hair and wearing a costume that is just wrong for her build, she looks like a drag queen ghoul Michael Jackson on steroids.
And just like her lack of curves, her moves are also blatant and crass. Hello, thrusting your fingers between your gitchie-gitchie yayaland is so unsightly, Pink. And when she juggles up her koochie-koochies and offers them to me, I really fear that they would just roll off accidentally and expose that Pink is indeed Michael Jackson in an attempt to rejuvenate his career. If Mya is a high-priced sophisticated callgirl in this video, Pink plays the one you can have for $3.99.
Lil’ Kim looks as if she has concrete balls for breasts. Almost falling out of her slinky low-cut white corset, she is a sight fit for sore eyes. In fact, she would be right at home in the pages of an adult men’s magazine. And those jewelry – necklaces, earbobs, yikes. Between those barrage bombs on her chest and those choking pearlies, no wonder she spends most of her screen time reclining in what seemed like a red, opulent brothel room. It must kill her spine to stand up. No wait, she stands too, wearing some corset-diaper-like outfit, and she throws money at the screen as the camera peeks up her legs. Ahem.
Lil’ Kim doesn’t do much posturing. She doesn’t have to. Those barrage bombs are big enough to warrant their own credit on the video – you know, Lil’ Kim and Her Breasts. All she does is to spread her legs and the camera does all the rest. Oh, and she does stimulate something with a stalk of rose in her hands that those Greenpeace people may find grounds to sue for cruelty to plants.
No, I take my posturing statement back. I am still popping aspirins after the sight of her rotating her crotch on her own fingers. What will her mother think? It’s not sexy, the way she does it, with those barrage bombs not even heaving like natural ones would, and the way her eyes seemed to glaze over. It’s like watching a robot stimulate sex. There’s something just wrong about this scenario.
Lil’ Kim isn’t sexy here. She wants to play Madame Heidi Fleiss, but she just comes off a horny mad female android. With scary un-bouncy breasts that looked as if they weighed a ton.
Then comes Christina Aguilera. Boy, she really must have pissed off the wardrobe department. First off, her pale skin looks even more sickly in that bright red outfit of hers. And yikes, somebody feed her a burger! So much bones, jutting out at painful-looking angles, and this young lady has no breasts at all. Hence, the sight of her jigging those non-existent gitchie-gitchie and wiggling those bony, angular hips… my eyes, my eyes! I may have to bleach my eyeballs.
And I haven’t mentioned the hair. Or makeup – those eyeliners, aargh! The hair is so huge, that’s no other words for it. It’s as if someone has gone on an Ewok genocide rampage to give Christina her hair. And it makes her look like an obscene, extra-large pale marshmallow on a toothpick with bright, shiny fuzz at the tip, thanks to her scrawny frame and big, big, big hair. And her make-up is worse than those Chinese opera singers’. The extra-thick and black eyeliners make her look glazy, dead-eyed, and drugged-up, and girl, those red lines around her eyes aren’t helping with the Fraggle Rock Marilyn Manson Post-Malnourishment look.
And what is this? Christina thrusting those broomstick arms of hers into her mouth, her crotch, all over where her breasts are supposed to be? Mommy, mommy, there’s a monster on my TV! It’s like watching the Chuckie doll stimulating sex. I don’t think I will ever sleep again.
It is with great relief that I see Missy Elliot come on screen. Since our lady has thighs and, er, bulk, she doesn’t take off her clothes. She raps a little, and then our four Whores take turns screeching the last refrains of the song, giving me a nice recap of each lady’s look.
Mya – classy. The other three… well, let’s just say I’m still in shock. “Voulez vous coucher avec moi?” becomes a death threat coming from the three gruesome ghouls. I must be going mad too, because the other day I find myself wondering how I would look with Christina’s hair on my head. Those makers of this video have a lot to answer for. Macabre, horrifying, terrifying, that’s what this video is, but somehow, I just can’t get it out of my head. Someone hit me in the head, quick!