Beyonce Knowles made her "Pretty Hurts" music video available on the web on Thursday, April 24. Directed by Melina Matsoukas, the clip finds the singer joining a beauty pageant and struggling with the pressure to be beautiful as Miss 3rd Ward.
Bey's seen rubbing jelly on her teeth and fighting with fellow pageant contestant over a hair dryer before she takes the stage and sings the song's opening hook a cappella. The clip later focuses on the body image issues that most women have.
It shows Beyonce working out, consuming diet pills, having botox injection, getting criticized for her body weight and forcing herself to throw up. The visuals also features a guest appearance from Harvey Keitel as the beauty pageant host who asks the star what her aspiration in life is.
"She told me what she wanted to do with the pageant world and I obviously like to take it there," Mutsoukas recently said of directing the video in an interview with Vulture. "I was like, 'Let's get into the toxic world and what we really do that is so damaging to ourselves, and use it as a microcosm for our society.' "
"Obviously, those ideas don't just live in the pageant world; they live in our world. And that's what the song is about. And it felt like we had to take it there to make it have meaning, because otherwise it would be a superficial, preachy kind of song and visual," the director added.
"Pretty Hurts" video, which originally appears in Beyonce's 2013 surprise album, was made available online after the star's featured on the cover of Time's "100 Most Influential People of the Year" issue. Bey has also launched the #WhatIsPretty campaign, inviting fans to upload a photo or video to Instagram that captures what the word "pretty" means to them.
Beyonce Knowles' "Pretty Hurts" music video