The creativity that Melanie Martinez has can not be tamed. From her first song, ‘Dollhouse’ to her film release of K-12, Melanie’s music videos are filled to the brim with sugary sweet singing and creepy cute visuals, all of which serve both a narrative and commentary purpose. We would be here all day if we pointed out all of the most exciting and detailed parts of each of their visuals, so we’re gonna give you just four of Melanie’s most creative music videos.
So sit back and get cozy because you’re going to be doing a lot of reading and binge-watching with this one!
Trigger Warning: The following music videos discussed will contain upsetting and triggering content such as mentions of sexual harassment, rape culture, and dysfunctional family structures.
Yes, we have to talk about the OG music video because why wouldn’t we? Not only is it Melanie’s debut music video, but it’s the first one that shows us just how far her creativity will go! The majority of the music video took place in a setting that literally resembled the inside of the dollhouse. It’s very fitting for the song, especially since it serves multiple purposes.
For one, it introduces viewers to the setting and backstory of Crybaby, the protagonist in Melanie Martinez’s album of the same name. And second, the whole dollhouse serves as a metaphor for how dysfunctional families act and are perceived. Like a dollhouse, they look nice on the outside, but it isn’t until you “look through the curtains” that you notice how dysfunctional and toxic they are, acting like entirely different people. They’re just dolls playing a role, just like Melanie sings about.
From Melanie’s film K-12, we argue that this music video is so underrated! The set design, first of all, is just phenomenal. There are so many scenes in this one video: the dreary but pastel-filled colored classroom, the cozy big-on-the-inside-that-the-outside pillow fort Melanie and their friend, Elita Harkov, crawl into, the star-filled nap room, and the huge playground area.
But what really seals the deal for us is Melanie literally floating during the fight scene! Even her hair has that floaty effect, moving about like snakes in the air. If you haven’t seen it, then we really recommend the watch (then after that the whole of K-12). Plus, the music in this video is really a bop!
For only three minutes, this video shows a whole lot. Hearing just the lyrics alone, ‘Strawberry Shortcake’ is about the double standards and sexualization girls face. It’s pretty unfortunate hearing Melanie sing about how girls have to uphold specific gender roles narrating such thoughts as “gotta make sure that my legs are shiny / Hot wax melting, burn my skin” and how “it’s how I look and not what I think.” However, what really sells the song is how the music video showcases these effects.
Throughout, Melanie is wearing this elaborate cake skirt which takes up a lot of the room. It’s pretty amazing, giving Mother Ginger’s dress from The Nutcracker a run for its money. But Melanie’s humongous cake skirt serves a purpose, representing how others view her and other girls’ bodies. As the boys circle around Melanie’s skirt and begin to devour it, it’s clear that it’s a commentary on sexual harassment and rape culture. All they see is a tasty treat, and not Melanie, the person wearing the skirt. What makes it more devastating, however, is throughout the whole ordeal, Melanie sings how it’s her fault as “no one taught them not to grab,” echoing some of the thoughts victims and others have when someone is assaulted.
It’s a sad commentary but still an important one to discuss, which the cinematography and costume design does an excellent job of showcasing in Melanie’s music video.
To end this with a palate cleanser, we present you with ‘The Bakery.’ But, how could you have not heard this song, much less seen it! The song was really popular in 2020, hitting YouTube’s trending page within hours of its release. Unlike the other music videos, this one is pretty simple as it’s just about a bakery Melanie had to work at during high school to earn money for their music endeavors.
‘The Bakery’ music video is just incredibly chaotic in a good way! The animated-like opening to the cute little bakery is already eye-catching, especially with the activism posters on the storefront. And everything after is like being transported into a Tim Burton film. Melanie goes from an egg yolk to a cookie to literally being eaten! Everything is just so whimsically creepy! Plus, Melanie is doing full choreography… like, how can you not appreciate this music video?
And those are just four of Melanie Martinez’s most creative music videos! Now we’re sure we might have missed one or two more, so let us know! Which music videos from Melanie also deserve some recognition? Or were we actually spot on? Let us know in the comments below. We’re also down to talk over at our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
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