In celebration of landing one of the covers of Time‘s “Most Influential People” issue, Beyoncé has released her “Pretty Hurts” music video, which was previously only available with the purchase of her self-titled visual album.
In the Melina Matsoukas-directed piece, Mrs. Carter-Knowles is portrayed as a beauty pageant contestant exploring the correlation of outer beauty and happiness.
“It represents all of the things women go through to keep up with the pressure that society puts on us. I wanted to tap into the world of competition,” Beyoncé said in an exclusive behind-the-scenes clip before receiving a faux facelift and Botox injections. “Some of the things young women go through is just really heartbreaking for me.”
While the concept for the video was conceived from society’s view on beauty and the extremes some women go to to attain it, Matsoukas said she also pulled some of her inspiration from Queen B herself.
“I was definitely inspired by this image she has as a child where she’s in front of her fireplace that has these trophies all over it,” Matsoukas said, regarding one of the scenes where a current day Bey trashes an accolade-filled room. “I wanted to recreate that and have her break them. You know, show that it doesn’t really advance you to get these awards, that it’s just based on outer beauty.”
“When you get this trophy, and you’re looking at it, is it worth it?” Beyoncé asked. “That song represents finding that thing in the world that makes you truly happy.”