Trend Watch: the rise-and-rise of NSFW Music Videos

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Justin Timberlake’s new clip for “Tunnel Vision” features probably the world’s most erotic fog: a haze of naked women wriggling around superimpositions of JT’s mug.

YouTube banned, then unbanned the clip, citing an ad-hoc policy on music video boobage for its indecision.
 

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“Tunnel Vision” is the second in a series of super-high profile clips starring gorgeous nude women and fully-clothed men, after Robin Thicke’s literally cheeky “Blurred Lines”.

For now, JT hasn’t really achieved social liftoff (current viewcount: little under 5 mil). But it’s no surprise Thicke’s clip went viral: it’s obnoxious, sexy and playful – a surreal nude playground that verges on pisstake. (It also stars Esquire’s hands-down Women of the Moment, Emily Ratajkowski. Who is excellent.)

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Thicke’s video was helmed by a veteran, female director – Diane Martel – who also directed Miley Cyrus’ oversexed new clip “Can’t Stop”. (We usually advocate researching Esquire references, and while Miley is lovely, just this once, you can probably do without.) 

Both Thicke and Timberlake’s videos have catalysed a predictable dichotomy of perving and outrage.

Our biggest issue with the nudity on Timberlake’s video? It’s pointless. The song is so-so — a far-cry from his Neptunes-penned hits of early ‘00s yore. The clip views like a super-affected, half-assed production test for a James Bond opening sequence. The nudity is exploitation feigned as art.

#Thicke’s clip, at least, isn’t hiding behind any veneer. It’s unabashed and stupid and deliberate, in the viral-hungry way you’d expect a video that periodically flashes a hashtag would be. On a very real level, we appreciate the honesty. (And, also, the Ratajkowski.) 

What do you think?

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