Friday, July 30, 2010

Of Glitter & Nudity

Now if THAT blog post title doesn't get you to read this post, I just don't know what I'm doing. ;)

First things first: You HAVE TO watch this video. I mean, you could just not, but everything I'm talking about today relates to it, AND it has a great song on it, AND Pink is mostly naked for over half of it. (You can also read the lyrics here.)

Originally, I was just going to post this song as a Music Monday selection, and leave it at that. There's not an official music video of the song, though, but there is this live version of Pink singing at the Grammy's.

And while I was watching, I was...shocked. Surprised. At first because Pink basically took off her dress and sang on national TV wearing nothing but some ribbon and some glitter. Then she got on that swing thing, and I thought "cool." And she kept pushing it and pushing it to the next level. After just being on the swing, she started spinning faster--then dunked herself in water and spun out from the pool--then she slipped the swing off and up, and hung upside down with nothing keeping her in the air except for luck (as far as I could see).

The song's beautiful. She could have worn a pretty dress and sat on top a piano and sung, and everyone would have stood up and clapped.

But she pushed it. She literally got naked in front of the world and did something that--if it failed--would have failed EPICALLY.

But it didn't fail. It became something beautiful and elegant and breathtaking because she risked it all.

In a way, there were two levels of danger to Pink's performance. First, the internal danger to one's self by exposure--by getting (mostly) naked, Pink opened herself up to criticism. Writers do that with their art, too--just by sharing our work with others, we're opening ourselves up to criticism that has the potential to do us harm. There is danger in revealing our work to others.

But there was external, physical danger involved in Pink's performance. No safety nets. One swath of cloth to hold her over the heads of all her peers. One slip--and I'm sure it was a bit slippery, given how it was wet--and she could come tumbling down. This reminded me of writers in the process of publication--be it querying agents or debuting a novel or writing their tenth book for pub.

Maybe I'm just reading too much into this song. Still, don't these lines remind you of writing and waiting to be published?
Have you ever hated yourself for staring at the phone?
You're whole life waiting on the ring to prove you're not alone
And, I'll be honest--lately I've been feeling a lot like this:
Have you ever held your breath and asked yourself will it ever get better than tonight?

But I think the most important thing to take away from this song is simply this:
Have you ever looked fear in the face and said, "I just don't care"?

...and can I have a round of applause for turning a post about glitter and nudity into a writing lesson? ;)


salarsenッ said...

You get a round from me!! This was ingenious. Fear, I have stared it in the face. I've done all right. But where my writing is concerned, I haven't been able to say I don't care yet. Close. This may have made a difference. Thanks.

Enjoy your weekend, Beth.

M.J. Horton said...


Whenever we sit type up a word on a manuscript, axe a scene, or click the 'send' button there's always that moment where we have to look at fear and go 'I don't care.'

That performance is beyond beautiful. Before they cut to the audience, I was like 'they should give her a standing ovation for that.' So I was smiling when they did. :D

Awesome post Beth!

Kristi Helvig said...

I LOVE Pink and I love even more that you somehow made me feel similar to her in some way. You are awesome, Beth!

B.J. Anderson said...

You have my applause! What a great post. I think what you said is right. If you want to be a writer, you have to look fear in the face and not care. Awesome post.

JEM said...

You definitely get mad props for this post :). I've been struggling with fear and insecurity lately, and I think (hope) eventually I'll get to the point where I just put it all aside and go for it. Good post!

Becky Levine said...

Wow! Downloading this song for my WIP playlist--thanks! And let's just say something for her support crew (writing group??!) up there with her, spinning & upside down and in sync!

Also, sheesh--try doing it all on those heels.

Tere Kirkland said...

Wow, I can't believe she did all that while singing and in those shoes. ;)

She set herself up to do something risky, and it paid off. It's a great reminder to us all to take the kind of risks that are good for us.

Great post!

Eric said...

First off, that performance was...breathtaking. Not for the partial nudity (hey, I'm a guy and recognize the obvious bias that might be implied), but for the sheer skill Pink showcased. I cannot even fathom how hard it would be to keep singing (in tune no less) while doing all of those things. I'm not surprised by her partial nudity, because hey, it's Pink. She does that. But I can't imagine anyone watching that acrobatic performance - coupled with a singing performance - and not be awed.

Then you, Beth take this a step further and tie the experience into how we as writers may feel at times. Positively brilliant. Every time I think you've hit an all-time high, you surprise me with something better. Awesome post.

Sandy Wills said...

Woah. I'm really nauseaus, lol.
But, yeah, that was beautiful and artistic and... just wow.

I've always loved Pink's voice.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Aw, I can't see the video because of France's copyright restrictions - but I know the performance you're talking about. And yeah, major kudos for having an intriguing blog title and a post that totally follows up on it with writerly stuff too. :) Great post!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Huge round of applaused from me, even though I can't see the vid. Stupid UK copyright restrictions :(

Conda V. Douglas said...

Wow--she wasn't even tethered! Amazing that she was even allowed to do this...maybe the execs (and liability lawyers) didn't know?

And great link to writing, Beth.

Candyland said...

You're not reading too much into it, I think you've understood what she tried to get across, perfectly.

Faith said...

Wow, that performance was... amazing. It literally brought tears to my eyes (and gave me a new level of respect for her as a performer & artist!). Thank you for sharing. :)

Meredith said...

Wow, that song can fit writing perfectly! You're right that taking a risk in writing, a risk that could lead to epic failure, can make your book so much more beautiful. And yay for staring fear in the face!

Jemi Fraser said...

Well worth a round of applause!

Wow - what an amazing performance - so gutsy! And I love the writing analogy you made - perfect :)

Carolyn V. said...

Pink did such a great job. She is so talented. And yes, I agree with everybody, you have to take on that fear.

Jolene Perry said...

That was awesome.
Thank you SO much for sharing.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Favorite post I've seen in awhile. Truly moving and astounding watching her aerial performance coupled with that song. And thanks for the way you brought it home.

Stephanie said...

I watched it live on the Grammy's! But as cool as it was...and how risky and how awesome she did perform even with everything she had going on....I kept thinking the whole time that I didn't need all the hooplah. Maybe that's just me. :)

But those on for an aspiring novelist!!

Christine Fonseca said...

OMGosh Beth - You live in my head! I was thinking this VERY THING while driving today...listening to the lyrics, etc. Thank you!

Elaine AM Smith said...

Wow! I love the lyrics - you are right about the waiting on the telephone moments.
Pink's performance was amazing.

Lady Gaga has pushed everyone out of their comfort zone and look how creative everyone is getting.

Authors do that for each other too - inspire, reignite, make others push themselves to see where their writing might lead.

Vivian Lee Mahoney said...

haha LOVE this post! Standing ovation from me.

PJ Hoover said...

Here's your round of applause! Very nice example (though I waited until the kids were in bed to watch :) ).

Miriam S. Forster said...


I have to say though, it was the first line of your post that made me laugh out loud. :)