Although they actually won The X Factor back in 2011 — which is more than One Direction can say — Little Mix has yet to skyrocket to the same level of international fame as 1D. Little Mix’s Perrie Edwards is engaged to Zayn Malik of One Direction, but that’s about all that’s been newsworthy in America about the band so far. Nevertheless, their latest single, “Salute”, has been one of the most highly anticipated songs of the week and the music video for “Salute” even more so. The countdown to the release of the music video trended on Twitter at some point during the day all week and the final product was definitely worth the wait.
Little Mix is made up of members Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall. They were the first group to win The X Factor and their debut album, DNA, made them the first girl group since The Pussycat Dolls to reach the top five on the United States Billboard 200. “Salute” is an aggressive girl power album, a call to arms for women everywhere to stand up and fight whatever imaginary enemy is standing in their way, and the video reflects that in a truly interesting way.
Like Rihanna’s “Hard” and Beyoncé’s “Run the World (Girls)”, there’s a military slant to the Little Mix music video. However, although they are dressed in skintight black dresses and putting their sexuality on display, they own it. Edwards, Nelson, Pinnock, and Thirlwall take center stage in every scene, even the ones that involve their male backup dancers, because they’re “representing all the women” and the men here don’t matter unless the girls want them to.
At one point, Nelson and Edwards even march with the men on leashes. And yet they are next to her rather than behind her or beneath her, dancing with her rather than against her or in front of her, as if the girls wanted to be clear that men and woman are equal, but it’s the women who are in control right now. All of the different elements of the video come together perfectly to be empowering rather than offensive or hollow.
“You think we’re just pretty things. You couldn’t be more wrong,” the girls sing, sending a message not only to any sexist standing out there but also to every woman who just needs a little motivation to believe in themselves. “We’re standing strong. We carry on… can’t stop a hurricane. Ladies, it’s time to awake!”
Beyoncé would be proud.