Jennifer Lopez

Ain't Your Mama

The music video for "Ain't Your Mama" was directed by Cameron Duddy. Jennifer Lopez previewed the music video on May 6, 2016, posting a "vintage-looking, sepia-toned" behind the scenes clip which features Lopez dressed as a 1950s housewife, sporting a "voluminous" Stepford Wives-esque hairstyle. The video was released on May 6, 2016.

 

Various styles from different periods (ranging from the 1950s to present) appear in the video. Fashion houses such as Thierry Mugler were among the creators behind Lopez's wardrobe. The 1950s housewife character had a "classic" look, while also taking inspiration from pin-up models. The 1960s secretary look was inspired by the period drama series Mad Men. The 1970s factory worker had a "Norma Rae type feeling". The 1980s businesswoman took inspiration from the film Working Girl, a look which Lopez personally connected to, given she was a young girl during this decade. The last look was described by stylist Haenn as "just a modern day J. Lo". In this final dance sequence, Lopez can be seen wearing denim stiletto thigh-high boots designed by Barbadian singer Rihanna with Manolo Blahnik, which had been gifted to Lopez by Rihanna. It was reported that the music video's production was almost halted due to low funds, which resulted in a product placement specialist being hired two days before the shoot. Product placements in the video include Vogue magazine, Beluga vodka, and Lavazza coffee. The mobile social network application "Friendable" is also featured.

After its first three days, the music video had garnered over 11 million views. Sasha Geffen of MTV News called the visual "politically charged". Leila Cobo of Billboard praised the video as "vastly entertaining", observing that it depicts the "history of women's fight for independence", with various pop culture and social references. Complex magazine writer Suzannah Weiss commended its "powerful plot line", noting: "It's an anthem for women dealing with man-children everywhere, and the music video ties it into larger issues of sexism contributing to these relationships." Of the video, Dave Quinn of People said, "she's not mincing words when it comes to the song's feminist message", while Richy Rosario of Vibe wrote: "Like many other women who have showcased their plight in gender inequality through art, Ms. Lopez is definitely making a statement."

 

Sabienna Bowman of Bustle magazine commended the music video, "Each frame in the video is loaded with historical imagery that takes you from the beginning of the second wave feminism movement straight through to today." Further underlining its context, Bowman noted that "The historical context behind the video is beautifully rendered and full of pop culture nods to famous films, as well as the very real history of the women whose lives were changed by the impact of second wave feminism." Conversely, Christina Cauterucci for Slate magazine reacted negatively, labeling the video a "sad premonition of the future of feminism" and saying that it serves as "a helpful illustration of an ascendant brand of feminism that boasts more marketable style than political substance". 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, whose speech was sampled in the opening sequence, thanked Lopez for the music video, responding: "Women are so much more than the roles they've been assigned." It is Lopez's second most-watched music video, with more than 756 million views on YouTube as of September 2020.

Video Synopsis

In the clip, Jennifer Lopez plays a number of archetypal characters, including: a news anchor who urges women to "rise up against their male oppressors", a 1950s housewife, a 1960s secretary, an underpaid factory worker in the 1970s (her hotheaded boss played by actor Eric Womack), and a 1980s businesswoman. It opens with the news anchor Lopez having a heated conversation in a phone booth, stating: "I'm tired, I've been working all day! No, I can't...you should [do it]". She then appears in a television news studio, where part of Hillary Clinton's famous 1995 "Women's Rights Are Human Rights" speech, followed by part of Patricia Arquette's Academy Award speech (specifically Arquette saying, "It's our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America"), followed by part of Gloria Steinem's famous 1971 "Address to the Women of America" speech, can be heard in the background. Lopez disregards the script and begins speaking: "Look, I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. Taken for granted, ignored, overlooked, under-appreciated."

 

The other characters watch news anchor Lopez through the television as she states, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!", which is a reference to a line spoken by character Howard Beale from the satirical film Network (1976). As a result of the news anchor's speech, all of the women begin rebelling against the males who have been exploiting them. The blonde 1950s housewife stops tending to her husband, sings "I ain’t gon’ be cookin’ all day. I ain’t your mama", then dumps food over his head. The redheaded 1960s secretary throws vodka back in her boss's face. It ends with an all-women march in Brooklyn, New York. Lopez wears a white jumpsuit for a final dance scene.

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