Story: Liz Smith
Video Girl/Vixen – is a female model who appears in hip-hop-oriented music videos. The video girl/vixen image has become a staple and a nuanced form of sex work within popular music; especially within the genre of hip hop.
Everyone who tuned in knew that if your music was hot your video would appear somewhere within the countdown and that you as an artist would for sure be a guest on the famous 106 & Park couch. As a fan of the show, I grew an appreciation for music, my culture and videos as a whole. My sis and I would come home from school everyday and faithfully turn the channel to 33 (which was BET in my household) and study the dances, outfits, etc shown in the most popular videos around the world. Growing up I took notice of how naturally beautiful the girls in these videos were and how they looked like myself.
If you were anything like me, when your favorite song came on you always envisioned yourself in the video as the main girl to your favorite artist or if you were like my sis, you envisioned yourself as a background dancer in Aaliyah’s video or maybe even Ginuwine’s. I remember the first time I saw the “Frontin” video by rapper Pharrell, I was in awe of how naturally beautiful the girls were, especially the chocolate one! They had on little to no make up, wore street clothes, tennis shoes, had a fresh blow out or perm and came in all shapes and sizes. Back then video girls would appear in a few videos then next thing you know they showed up on the big screen as an actress. Now don’t get me wrong not all video vixens were “naturally” beautiful or “innocent” a lot of them did make their debut in the videos also shown on BET: Uncut late, late at night but we’re not talking about them!
Another great example of a naturally beautiful video vixen was Nicole Narain, who was an American model who appeared as the main girl in LL Cool J’s, “Luv U Better” video. I know you’re singing the song in your head right now, go ahead and search the video on YouTube! I can even take it all the way back to 1982 when Michael Jackson released his iconic video to “Thiller” and the leading lady was American model and, actress Ola Ray. Talk about beautiful! She slayed us simply with red lipstick and a sick jerry curl hairstyle.
These video vixens weren’t pressed at all to get work done on their bodies, have bundles of hair in their heads, bleach their skin to a lighter tone or simply be something they weren’t. They booked the gigs by being naturally beautiful which is something you don’t see too often now. Now a days the ones to book gigs as a video vixen are Instagram models who promote flat tummy tea, ambassadors for hair companies, those who get cosmetic work done to their bodies and remove a couple ribs here and there and heavily filter their pictures with photoshop and several other apps. However, to each its own…get yours the way you can girl!
I won’t say all videos this day and age feature those type of girls, Omarion dropped a new song entitled “Distance” and the video is absolutely beautiful! He shot the video in Africa and all the ladies in the video were from the mother land. It features authentic dance moves from Africa as well as authentic clothing. The video gives you feels of “Pimpin’ All Over The World” by Ludacris feat. Bobby Valentino (I know you’re humming this song too so go ahead and search it on Youtube) where Luda made sure to let listeners know that “the best women all reside in Africa, and that’s real.”
Who knows, maybe more artist will feature naturally beautiful models and video vixens can make a come back so little girls can see women who look like themselves just like I did growing up. Until then I’ll keep traveling down memory lane and you tubing my favorite videos featuring some of my favorite video girls. If you’d like to travel with me check out the list below and let me know what some of your favorite videos are! Hit me up on Twitter @_ElizabethLynne or Instagram @liztwotime.
- Pimpin’ All Over The World – Ludcris feat. Bobby V
- Luv U Better – LL Cool J
- Frontin – Pharrell feat. Jay Z
- Paradise – LL Cool J feat. Amerie
- Rock The Boat – Aaliyah
- Distance – Omarion
- Opps (Oh My) – Tweet feat. Missy Elliott
- That’s Why I Love You – B2K
- My Love Is Like…Wo – Mya
- He Wasn’t Man Enough – Toni Braxton
- You Changed Me – Jamie Foxx feat. Chris Brown
- You Don’t Know – Tank feat. Wale
- Lotus Flower Bomb – Wale feat. Miguel
- Slow Motion – Trey Songz
- True Love – Lil Romeo feat. Solange Knowles
- Promise – Jagged Edge
- My Place – Nelly feat. Jaheim
- Pullin’ Me Back – Chingy feat. Tyrese
- Excuse Me Miss – Jay Z feat. Pharrell
- Best Friend – 50 Cent feat. Olivia
- Keep Ya Head Up – Tupac
- Nothing On You – Tyrese
- Dontchange – Musiq Soulchild
- Thiller – Michael Jackson
- Chris Brown – Say Goodbye (He didn’t know how to dump his current dance partner lol so cute!)