Allow me to preface this post by saying that when I was a lot younger, I used to joke about someday wanting a stalker, because it seemed like the highest level of flattery out there. Needless to say, as I grew older I realised how incredibly stupid that was and I grew out of it. However, just in case I hadn’t, Maroon 5’s newly released music video for their single, Animals, certainly would have kicked some sense into me. While the video is arguably hott at certain points, it is creepy as all hell throughout.
In the video, Adam Levine plays a severely unhinged butcher who becomes obsessed with a beautiful young woman – played by his real-life wife, Behati Prinsloo. As expected in such a scenario, he stalks her everywhere she goes and fantasizes about her in graphic sexual detail. Although Adam pulls off the act with impressive credulity, a lot of viewers are not here for the concept, and are being quite vocal about how distasteful they find it. The two most common criticisms seem to be that 1) the video is too sexually explicit in certain scenes and Adam Levine is trash for parading his wife in such a sexual manner, and 2) Adam Levine is disgusting and anti-feminist for glorifying stalking. Note that all blame and responsibility seem to be excluded from the creators of the video and the remainder of the band, and placed solely on Adam Levine. I admit that I understand where these people are coming from, but honestly I just cannot with this level of stupidity.
I’ve seen several comments from proponents of the first criticism which claim that this sexual nature of the video has now suddenly made them stop being fans of Maroon 5. All these people need to have several seats, because this is far from the first time that a Maroon 5 video has portrayed Adam Levine as sexual and lustful. She Will Be Loved and This Love both feature scenes of Adam Levine getting down with a female. Now, how much of a “fan” could you really have been if you hadn’t known that? It seems to me that this has far less to do with being offended and more to do with trying to show others how virtuous you can appear. There’s nothing wrong with having a moral code and sticking to it, but when it gets to the point that you’re publicly bashing someone for not following that same code, and crying as loudly as you can so that others realise it, I think that your intent truly is to deliberately portray yourself in the most pious light possible. As for Adam parading his wife like this… can someone please point me to the moment when we suddenly went back to the 50’s, and men were solely responsible for what their wives were allowed to do in public? For crying out loud, Behati Prinsloo is a Victoria’s Secret lingerie model! It isn’t as if Adam Levine is whoring her out for something that she’s completely unaccustomed to. What’s he supposed to do? Jump onto the runway whenever she’s modelling and cover up her body so that no one ever sees her skin? Up on out of here with that rubbish!
As for this video glorifying stalking, I think that’s a load of crock. True, it’s a sensitive topic and yeah, maybe it wouldn’t be my first choice had I been the concept artist, but isn’t that sort of the point of art? Isn’t it supposed to explore topics that aren’t often discussed and present it in the most provocative and thought-provoking fashion? If you ask me, this video doesn’t “glorify stalking” any more than Fatal Attraction or Fear did, and no one seems to be calling Glenn Close or Mark Wahlberg “disgusting” for those roles.
I’m not trying to censor anyone from voicing their opinions, but I honestly have to wonder if half of the people making these comments even truly agree with what they’re saying. How much of it is conviction, and how much of it is just this social-media-created obsession with insulting everyone and spewing negativity and hatred at every turn? I refuse to believe that the majority of these comments come from a truly puritanical belief system and not just a fabricated attempt at making ourselves feel more superior to others than we really are. We really need to just calm the hell down and learn to prioritize when it comes to the issues that we make such a big, earth-shattering deal.