Avril Lavigne will always have a place in my heart as the mall goth–the lithe blonde I was supposed to be in middle school. I learned how to skateboard because of Skater Boi. My proto-riot grrrl moments came from her proto-riot grrrl moments. She’ll always mean something to me for her early pop punk anthems. However, that was twelve years ago and I’ve grown up and I shop on eBay and at Tokio 7 now instead because I’m a grown adult and buying the majority of my clothes at Hot Topic would be embarrassing at this point. But this seems to not be a problem with Avril Lavigne, no sir. Then again, she’s married to the lead singer of Nickelback so having pride in embarrassments seems to be her forte.
No surprise then, that her latest attempt at musicality–or simply relevance–seems to be as tone deaf as her last chart topping pursuits. It feels like only yesterday that I was trying to avoid “Girlfriend” by not listening to the radio or be seen in any public space at all, ever. Even when I was living abroad, I could not escape that song, since she evidently recorded it in more than eight languages. My grandmother and I really bonded over singing “Girlfriend” in Chinese in the night markets of Taipei. Just kidding, we both gagged at lot. Anyway.
Lavigne’s latest artistic debut is an utter shitshow.It’s not even an intelligent, satirical shitshow. We would play it for you here but it’s apparently been taken down over the last few hours across all media sites. You’ll have to imagine it for now (or watch it on her site, where she’s currently redirecting traffic), but here’s the breakdown. An optimistic intellectual take on it might consider it satire on but we all know better. This is quite honestly just a poorly executed Hot Topic reproduction of Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Girl era, run through an outdated dubstep machine. People are still doing dubstep? Why are people still doing dubstep? Not even Britney got away with dubstep.
At least Lavigne’s backup dancers look even more fed up and bored of being pawns in asian fetishism than the Harajuku girls did. Not that that’s saying anything at all.
But straight up: this is a true example of basic bitchness. By that I mean three things: pop song mediocrity, Asian fetishism, and utter unoriginality on all accounts. If you’re going to fuck up a cultural aesthetic, at least be original about it. Be really good at being terrible, and then we won’t feel sorry for you. (We’ll just be disgusted.)
In any case, Lavigne will likely get what she wanted from the video: attention and advertising dollars. It’ll just be served up with a lot of eye-rolls and contempt.
Another day, another dollar. One point for the Canadian gaijin, I guess. How wonderful.