Harry Styles’ single “Watermelon Sugar” is a sensual ode to women and an example of perfect pop. The music video for the track, which dropped Monday morning, conveys the feeling of summer in three colorful, saturated minutes.
Prior to the release of the “Watermelon Sugar” music video, Styles released three videos to accompany songs from his 2019 album, “Fine Line.” Each video is extremely different — stylistically and in terms of theme. “Watermelon Sugar” looks and feels like summer.
The video begins with a line of text: “This video is dedicated to touching, May 18, 2020.” Styles promoted the video on social media attached to the message, “DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. Practice social distancing.” These messages are both reminders of a loss we’ve all endured in recent months and a reminder of what we will regain when the world returns to “normal.”
The video features a group of gorgeous people and Styles on the beach eating watermelon — simple enough. But somehow, it’s exactly what I needed right now. The video exemplifies that sandy yet soft feeling of a day on the beach. You can nearly feel the warmth emanating from the screen and the sand between your toes. In these seemingly dark and cynical times, Styles is a beam of sunshine.
Frolicking on the beach and ravaging watermelon slices, the diverse cast inspires jealousy, I can’t lie. Oh, to be surrounded by beautiful people while eating fruit with Harry Styles on the beach — truly my dream. Despite whatever envy I feel toward these ethereal beings, I can’t deny the video is a one-way ticket to serotonin city. I couldn’t help but smile and giggle through my first viewing, and the subsequent dozen times I rewatched it.
My only qualm with the video was the lack of size inclusivity. The vast majority of the people featured in the video — all of which were clad in adorable swimwear — were extremely skinny. Like, supermodel silhouette skinny. There's nothing wrong with this or any body type, but it is the most commonly praised one. One which girls so often feel obligated to comply to no matter how impossible that expectation may be.
I'll refrain from repeating every cliche about body positivity, but I hope you get my point. There was a ton of diversity in the video, but I worry plus sized viewers may walk away feeling bad about their bodies.
We know Harry is a champion for all women, but the lack of this type of representation is painfully obvious to a large portion of his fans. Regardless, the video is extremely diverse, which is more than we can ask for from most mainstream artists. Diversity of race in media should be the norm, so although I'm so glad the video hit that mark, I won't praise him for it. The lack of size diversity leaves something to be desired, but that doesn't make it bad or oppressive; it's still a wonderful, inclusive piece of media.
The song itself is undeniably catchy and fun. Styles shows off his expansive vocal range while a jazzy instrumental accompanies him. The lightheartedness of the song shines through in the video. I’ll save the details of the song’s implicit meaning, but you can watch the video to determine what watermelon sugar actually is. Styles leans into the song’s steamy themes with the video, but keeps it simple.
The three other videos that accompany “Fine Line” tracks come with varying levels of depth and hidden meaning, but “Watermelon Sugar” truly is what it is. The video serves little purpose other than to add a visual component to the song, rather than layering onto its meaning. The simplicity is almost a relief. It’s three minutes of fun and it doesn’t go much deeper than that.
The colorful visuals paired with the upbeat track are simply happy. Styles is an artist, an icon, a musician and a beautiful human. Call me dramatic, but I truly believe he is a revelation to pop music and pop culture — I cannot wait to see what he does next. Excuse me while I go spend another three minutes pretending to eat watermelon with Harry in Malibu.