It shouldn’t be rare to see a video like “Young Girls”, but it is. The video depicts Princess Nokia (Destiny Frasqueri) and a cast of women and children, mostly made up of Destiny’s friends but also featuring internet acquaintances, as a tribe of spiritual nature witches hanging out in a deep jungle (in this case, the North Woods of Central Park). The women wade through waterfalls, take care of their children, enjoy each others company, and exist confidently as embodied humans.
“When I wrote this song, it was kind of like writing a place where they could raise their children and be happy and live amongst each other,” said Frasqueri in an interview, about her intentions for the track off her Metallic Butterfly album. “And there would be no men and there would be no technology, there would just be us and the children. It would be very harmonious and holistic.”
The video was directed by Milah Libin (who also directed the first two videos for Nokia’s trilogy; “Cybiko” and Dragons”, and the production team was led entirely by women tied to Smart Girl Club, thus reclaiming ownership of the “earth goddess” trope apart from the male/colonial gaze, and showing the women confronting the camera to return the gaze and assert their subjectivity. It’s a celebration of womanhood, motherhood, diversity, nature, and heritage. By featuring women of West African, Polynesian, Taíno, Caribbean, Dominican, Haitian, African American, Mexican, South American, Palestinian, Yoruban, and Jewish backgrounds, as Frasqueri told Vice, the video showed “a visual representation of body types and colors that don’t get [offered] in media and in music videos.”
The energy of the women and the children in “Young Girls” is deeply felt and the result is powerful. For more on Princess Nokia, read our cover story.