Summer Jams: “Fling” vs. “Crush”
Yikes! Okay, there’s currently a raging debate happening right now ever since 12-year old Willow Smith, aka “Melodic Chaotic,” released this video, “Summer Fling.”
Folks are up in arms because this young precocious girl is singing about a “fling”! Not a “crush” or “puppy love.” Of course the debate concerns whether or not you think we, adults, are projecting our own sexualized thoughts on an innocent girl, or if the video is, indeed, sexualizing the girl for public consumption.
My problems with the video is the way the camera is filming her scantily clad body. Yes, she’s having some innocent pool fun in the summer time. But what does that look like when the video plays against a track that contains the words “summer fling,” as opposed to “summer crush”?
And just for contrast, see David’s own “Crush”:
Granted, David does come across as far more “innocent” than 12-year-old Willow does (but I think that’s because girls mature faster than boys anyway). But, is Willow’s song and video able to maintain the same type of innocent fun?
I dunno. I mean, I really like the song (“Summer Fling”), but it bothers me, especially when David’s “Crush” gives us a prime example of how one can market a pop star minor and make it “cool” while still keeping it “clean.”
Or, is my grown-up self projecting too much here? Which I want to be careful about doing, especially since young black girls are often subjected to the same hypersexualized gaze we older black women often receive (but then again, it’s precisely because of the hypersexualized gaze on black women and girls’ bodies that makes me feel very uneasy about “Summer Fling”!)
What say you, Soul Davidians?