Music Video Review: 'Women' by Def Leppard (1987)
A kid reading a comic proves comics aren't just kids stuff.
I absolutely adore Def Leppard, and I hope that I'll finally get to rock out at one of their concerts someday. From "Pour Some Sugar On Me" to "Hysteria" and other massive hits in between, it's hard to pick a favourite track recorded by this superstar British heavy metal band.
A music video of theirs that does stick out to me, however, is the one filmed for their song "Women." Although I will admit it's the comic book aesthetic that drew me in, because considering how thunderous the actual song is, the video is quite underwhelming in comparison.
I reckon it has to do with the comic book story battling for screen time with live-action sequences featuring the bandmates in a deserted warehouse and a little boy reading the comic. It's about a hero named, of course, Def Leppard and how he liberates female robots from evil aliens in a distant planet.
I think that the main focus should have been on the boy and his engagement with the comic. Better yet, the video should have gone the "Take On Me" route and have actual animations and interactions between the two so that the boy could connect more meaningfully with the characters.
I actually don't mind that he's a child in this as opposed to, say, a teenager or young adult. He can learn to view women in a positive light at a young age, especially as far as media exposure goes.
Alternatively, he may very well already enjoy more progressive stories and think well of women, and is either revisiting a favourite or getting into yet another such comic. As we can see in the video, he is quite reserved and attentive while reading this particular story.
It suggests thoughtfulness on his part, and for me the biggest indication of this is when he discovers that the robots are actually human before Def does by scratching their barcodes with a coin. Hence why I feel they could've gone further with making the whole concept more interactive and bringing more humanity to it.
Because there's so much going on in the video, the comic moves a little too fast for any of it to really sink in, and much of what makes for strong themes is pretty glossed over in the actual content.
I like the idea of Def and the women working together to defeat the aliens, and that Def doesn't necessarily have an agenda for helping them out other than feeling the need to do so (I'll come back to this). I also like how the women willingly help each other out as well.
I just wish that these developments got more attention to really drive home the humanistic angle, though the cheesy one-liners were fun to read and make me nostalgic for a time I wasn't even born in.
I don't think Def getting together with one of the women at the end makes the video any less feministic, particularly since he honestly doesn't seek a relationship from the get-go, even if he finds them all beautiful upon seeing them for the first time.
However, I think the message could've been just as strong, if not stronger, had he decided not to pursue any of the women and simply appreciated them all for who they are before departing. But I understand that romance sells, so there you go.
What also makes it interesting is that it's the love interest who approaches him first, not the other way around. Making her feelings clear, she takes a chance and he accepts, without any need for begging, seduction, or some sort of legitimate mind control. Considering how many depictions of inappropriate courting tactics there are in fiction, this is a breath of fresh air.
Despite any shortcomings, it's truly amazing how many observations you can make from such a simple tale. That's when you know you're really showing, and not just telling.