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

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.

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.

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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.

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

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