Avril Lavigne Tries to Go Big in Japan for ‘Hello Kitty’ Video
By Courtney E. Smith
Self-infantalization has always been a mainstay of Avril Lavigne’s personal brand, but as she starts creeping towards 30 she’s decided to take a page from Gwen Stefani’s book and insert herself in a culture that absolutely reveres that sort of thing: hello, Japan.
In a candy-colored music video that looks like it was shot in an It’s Sugar store, Lavigne is flanked by Japanese background dancers who appear to be dressed like pastel Oompa Loompas. These ain’t no hollaback girls. Hell, they’re not even Harajuku girls. They’re a bunch of no-style props who frolick in the candy behind Lavigne.
The real disquiet in this video comes when Lavigne dances in front of a line of these Japanese back up girls. They move like robots, eyes focused tightly ahead. Lavigne looks off into the ether, somehow always moving two seconds off of whatever her troupe is doing. It’s a piece of unwitting satire, offering a photo of an non-self aware person looks like, that would be comically exaggerated if it were at all comedic.
At the 1:48 mark we transition into a sushi house while the editing imparts to us that we are either on drugs or having a huge sugar rush. As the shots were limited here, we quickly move to a Mean Girls-esque street-style shot, for which Lavigne has mysteriously not changed her outfit. Anyone with even minimal exposure to Tokyo street style wars would know her school girl outfit is on the right track but not nearly ostentatious enough to cause a sensation.
Obviously this dub step inspired track was not one of the ones produced by her now-husband, Chad Kroeger of Nickelback, although he does have a co-writer credit. No word if this is a double-entendre for something, but then Lavigne usually does like to play it straight.