We Take It Back: This Is the “Blurred Lines” Parody We Needed

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
July 23 2013 1:04 PM

Wait, This Is the “Blurred Lines” Parody We Needed

If it hasn’t already made it to a course schedule, expect a gender studies class built entirely around Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” to appear very soon at a university near you. The parade of nearly naked ladies, silly props, and swaggering dudes continues to inspire critical parodies due to its objectification of women, even as it undoubtedly has those same critics tapping their toes along with its infectious hooks.

J. Bryan Lowder J. Bryan Lowder

J. Bryan Lowder is a Slate assistant editor. He writes and edits for Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section, and for the culture section.

A few weeks ago, we covered gay porn company Helix Studios’ attempt at a take-down, which was essentially a light-hearted underwear party for twinks. But this week’s entry—from Seattle-based “boylesque” troupe Mod Carousel and their lady friends—is inarguably superior.


The boylesque version works so well because the gender roles are perfectly reversed. Here, the three gorgeous women—Caela Bailey, Sydni Devereux, and Dalisha Phillips, filling in for Thicke, Pharell, and T.I.—see the original boys’ swagger and raise it, treating the Mod Carousel performers with a palpably sultry gaze. Plus, the song’s lyrics are modified, but only just enough to make the switch work (e.g. “You’re the hottest dick in this place”). And thankfully, the playful spirit grasped for in the original video is better realized here—look for the push-up popsicle and lighthearted balloon wordplay to see what I mean.

On the video’s YouTube page, the performers wisely point out that most attempts at this kind of parodic gender-swapping “serve more to ridicule the male body than to highlight the extent to which women get objectified and [do] everyone a disservice.” The goal here, then, was to “present both women and men in a positive light, one where objectifying men is more than alright and where women can be strong and sexy without negative repercussions.”

If the suddenly steamy temperature of the Brow Beat office is any indication, success has been achieved.



Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again

The XX Factor

I’m 25. I Have $250.03.

My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I’m 25. I Have $250.03. My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Free Speech

Walmart Is Crushing the Rest of Corporate America in Adopting Solar Power

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 3:13 PM Why Countries Make Human Rights Pledges They Have No Intention of Honoring
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 1:47 PM The Best Way to Fry an Egg
Oct. 21 2014 5:38 PM Justified Paranoia Citizenfour offers a look into the mind of Edward Snowden.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.