“Not Myself Tonight” Is the New Gold Standard of Batslut Insanity

I think it’s important to contextualize the new music video for Christina Aguilera’s “Not Myself Tonight” with a couple things: firstly, unless you work in a sex shop that specializes in high-end leather wear and bedazzled gag balls or an office with an HR staff that doesn’t consider getting your Nomi Malone on and mercilessly humping EVERYTHING inappropriate workplace conduct (so basically you work at the Cheetah), then yes, “Not Myself Tonight” might in fact be considered Not Safe For Work.  More importantly, though, I’m pretty sure that Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Christina Aguilera impersonation is going to be so miffed that the real Xtina finally got around to doing a cover of Lil’ Kim’s “C*m-Guzzling F*ck Whore”:

Oh lordy, Christina, that was most certainly skanky enough.  Bonkers, too, which can only mean that we need to talk about this thing, so let’s all put some aloe vera on our Christina burns and talk about this thing after the jump.

Now seeing as my personal tastes all but demands I approve of anything that could be mistaken for the world’s trashiest drag revue, I obviously love this.  “Not Myself Tonight” is what happens when “Dirrty”-era Xtina stops throwing pool parties in garbage dumpsters and starts taking the art of S&M (very) seriously.  Coming across like an escapee from the loony bin with a sex addiction and a penchant for the avant garde isn’t a new horizon on the pop music landscape, y’all, so let’s all make like the tagline for Showgirls and leave our inhibitions perceptions that she’s ripping of Lady Gaga’s brand of crazy at the door.

If anything, I can’t help but think that the combination of the visual homages to late-80s/early-90s Madonna (“Express Yourself” and “Human Nature”) with the schizophrenic-persona theme at the center of “Not Myself Tonight”‘s lyrics makes this some sort of music video meta-commentary about how image has been in the past and is increasingly becoming the locus of the pop music artist’s identity.  Someone’s going to one day write their thesis about this video and where it places Christina Aguilera in the pantheon of pop divas, but that person is not going to be me today because this video has me tripping balls harder than a party with these two chaps:

Seriously, “Not Myself Tonight” is like somebody spiked the punch at Cake Dog and Present Cat’s party with bong water that’s fermented in a pair of ho boots.  I’m not complaining.  I’m just saying that for the first time in quite a while, even a GIF of the exploding head from Scanners simply won’t encapsulate the mind-blowing ridiculousness of it all.

Well played, Christina Aguilera.  Very, very well played indeed.

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6 Responses

  1. That was cra-zay! I concur that this is clearly a Freedom 90/Human Nature/Express Yourself montage homage, but I don’t know how successful it is in introducing a new album persona for Christina precisely it is so derivative.

    I don’t think the Lady Gaga – Xtina comparisons really pan out except that they are both derivative of Madonna in their own ways but its arguable that petite blonde pop stars nowadays cannot avoid comparisons to or PR packaging influenced by Madge’s overwhelming global success. Lady Gaga seems much more in the tradition of Grace Jones/Elton John/David Bowie/Labelle intensely flamboyant glam-rock performativity.

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    • Totally agreed on both points. I can’t if we’re to read this as a new persona (like when she decided she was going to be referred to as Xtina), a return to the “Dirrty” days after she went pin-up queen for Back to Basics, or if she just wanted to pay homage to women’s representation in music videos at that specific moment in pop culture. As a persona, it’s too hollow to work, but I think it’s pretty awesome to rely on nostalgia for your aesthetic without it devolving into parodic kitsch.

      As for the Lady Gaga/Christina comparisons, Madonna will forever be the standard for comparison; but more than that, I find it strange how the argument for Christina Aguilera ripping off Lady Gaga essentially boils down to “Lady Gaga dressed up like a crazy first.” I’m not saying it’s in the same level of success or vision as Lady Gaga’s full-blown performance art, but her days as Xtina in the early ’00s and her “Lady Marmalade” look definitely had her playing up an over-the-top persona and aesthetic long before Gaga, and I find it vaguely disheartening that people fail to keep that in mind.

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  2. I want to like this video, but it’s a bit too much that it becomes dull. I’m not going to say that out loud though, she might stab me with one of her eyebrows.

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  3. i’m so glad you remember when SMG spoofed dirrty but i will forever hate jimmy fallon because he impersonated david lachapelle as if he were a french man.

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  4. […] raising an eyebrow or two!  Seriously, I don’t know if this is just another example of a female pop singer trying too hard or if this performance just needs that certain “It” factor (Black George Washington), […]

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  5. […] and queer revolution; unfortunately for me, I’ve recently been gorging on far too much pop culture garbage to fit into my size-28 pretentious pants and digest all of this crazy.  And […]

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