Sexy Little Things: In other words, you are in my hands

by Rinoa on April 11, 2010 · 7 comments · AddThis

Hamasaki in Microphone
Hamasaki in Alexander McQueen

Sexy Little Things was another music video which filmed in London, along with Microphone. According to her ViVi Deji Diary, more than 50 musicians and models were featured in this video.

Filmed in a completely different style and mood, it provides a continuation to Microphone, with a different twist. The imagery is highly minimalistic and makes heavy use of black, white and red. Hamasaki describes it as “fully loaded with tricks” and mentions how she experiments with unique different styles.

Sexy Little Things is probably one of her most unique and entertaining music videos. With a bizarre combination of the 8-bit videogame era, the haute couture runway and the twisted “Alice in Wonderland” vibe, Sexy Little Things is definitely something to keep out an eye for.

Sexy Little Thing Eye
Bizarre Eye Radio Player?

Since the whole style of this video is quite bizarre, many have claimed that Hamasaki is copying Lady Gaga’s style. Arguably it has certain elements which are reminiscent of “Bad Romance” but I feel that certain elements were simply inspired from Lady Gaga and used for her own concepts. After all, Hamasaki has been working on weird and bizarre videos long before Lady Gaga’s debut.

The whole atmosphere of this video is quite playful and light-hearted, while maintaining the slightly creepy vibe from Microphone. However it seems that everything is poked fun at, at a certain level. Models prance and pose teasingly around the room. The fox hunters jump around the room like little kids. These two professions are usually characterised with being serious and expressionless. However, here they are depicted as having fun and being themselves, without any inhibitions. Could this be a hint that not everything is actually as it seems?

What do you mean by “I love you” ?
What do you mean by “You are the best” ?

My personal theory is that the fox hunters and models are a metaphor. The fox hunters could be seen as a metaphor for the male gender. Anthropologically men are characterised as being the hunters, the providers and the ones who traditionally seek females, rather than the other way round. So therefore the fox hunters could be viewed as the ideal male prototype.

Fox Hunters
Fox Hunters

However in the music video, men are also portrayed as being immature and seeking entertainment by using women as a form of “sport”. Furthermore fox hunting is frequently viewed as a controversial activity since many consider it to be cruel and unnecessary while others assert it is tradition and a symbol of power. It seems that instant gratification is achieved at the cost of suffering of others.

It goes without saying that sometimes men objectify women as a “prize” to be won over. The lyrics underline this concept more than once. Although it might be generalising several men feel that women are something to chase after for their amusement and then simply providing them with their materialistic needs to make them happy.

Hey, how many times can you possibly use
The same gestures and same way of doing things that we’re so utterly used to?

On the other hand the models are a metaphor of the female gender. Models are frequently viewed as the “ideal” female. With the perfect figure and feminine looks, the docile and emotionless demeanour and obedient nature, they are characterised as the perfect female. In a less idealised manner, this portrayal might be of someone dim-witted, lifeless, subdued and unable to make her own decision.

Fitting in...
Fitting in...

It is a common perception that in order for a female to be chosen by a prospective male, she must “fit in” the ideal model of a female; no matter how unsavoury this might be for her. The emphasis is on “fitting in” was always focused on being feminine, being slim and obedient. The imagery where she forces the plug to fit in the socket, which screams in protest, symbolises the whole concept of “fitting in”.

Women are always at the receiving end,
Showing themselves like they have no intention or desire.

However the models in this video are portrayed as being more bold and assertive. The outfits, make up and overall appearance of Hamasaki and the models are rather bold and unfeminine, as if expressing their own personality rather than repressing it. Instead of trying to fit in the men’s stereotypical ideal of “sexy”, they are more at home at being with their own definition of “sexy” and simply having fun. The giant girl in the wall, when woken up is cranky and suspicious. All versions of Hamasaki show a lot of personality and quirkiness. Rather than waiting for orders, Hamasaki takes matters in her hands to the point of being aggressive and destroying the electric guitar.

“Women don’t know anything
They are always just nodding with their lifeless eyes.”
If you think that, then that’s a huge mistake.

Ayu Alex McQueen
Ayu sporting Alexander McQueen

The principal message seems to be that although men seem to think they are the ones using women to their ends, women are actually the ones who are in control. Being a female makes it harder for males to read their minds and makes it easier for females to manipulate men in their subtle way. The passive demeanour females posses provides men a confidence boost where they can feel in control but ironically this does only take place because females grant them this privilege.

In order to offer the environment where you can act cool
In other words, you are in my hand

The video is saturated with avant-garde haute-couture elements. Two of the outfits worn by the models (the black and white mini-dress and the robot-styled outfit) are from Gareth Pugh Spring 2007 and 2009 Collection. The huge black outfit another model wears is inspired by Alexander McQueen. Hamasaki’s outfits are also from runway collections. The black and white houndstooth checked top is from Alexander McQueen Fall 2009 ready to wear collection. The black and red houndstooth dress is also an Alexander McQueen design. The large black dress was designed by Akira Noda, Ayumi’s personal costume designer.

Sexy Little Things Screens
From the top left, Garet Pugh, Alexander McQueen, and Hamasaki wearing Alexander McQueen and Akira Noda

Author’s Note: A big thanks goes to maikaru and masa from Ayumi Hamasaki Sekai who do terrific translations of Hamasaki’s songs. Furthermore another big thanks goes to truehappiness for hunting down the costume designers.

Related Posts:

  1. Microphone: Meeting you was a necessity Black Hamasaki making an appearance in Microphone as well as in Sexy Little Things Microphone is the first song from Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus which was leaked online and was chosen as the leading song for this album. Furthermore it was also the first promotional video which was aired on television. It is neatly blended in [...]......
  2. Startin’ / Born To Be… Ayumi Hamasaki's 39th single instantly became a chart topper in 2006. With two powerful brand new songs, Hamasaki displayed her vocal abilities and released a single with high quality and a funky style which will definitely attract attention.......
  3. (miss)understood Ayumi Hamasaki's recent album, released on New Year's Day has raised many eyebrows and has again topped the charts. Hamasaki has portrayed an experimental and powerful side of herself as she produced a variety of genres within this album. This album focuses more onto her career, her take on feminism and life itself.......
  4. Hamasaki goes global with Dragonball Hamasaki goes global with Dragonball: Evolution.........
  5. Ayumi Hamasaki’s Secret 'Secret' is Ayumi Hamasaki's eight studio album. It was released on the 29th November 2006 and has attracted the attention of all her fans worldwide.......

About the author

Rinoa enjoys spending her free time writing articles, most particularly reviews, biographies and news articles. Her favourite artist is Ayumi Hamasaki but she enjoys listening to a wide range of musical talents from all over the world.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

xiaobao May 4, 2011 at 12:56 am

My personal theory is that the fox hunters and models are a metaphor

Reply

eovon August 3, 2010 at 4:00 am

Things have been going well for you, I’m hoping!

Reply

Ty_Sylicus May 13, 2010 at 12:33 am

Amazing! There, I said it.

Both, your insights into this video and, Microphone as well. Your writing is so well-spoken. I really enjoyed reading this.Thank you!

Reply

Rinoa August 30, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Thanks a lot for the compliments Ty! Glad you enjoyed my insights. I really enjoy finding the tiny little details in videos when there’s something to discover.

Reply

Brent Turner UNITED STATES May 7, 2010 at 2:16 am

Anyone have an idea who makes the men’s checkered shoes? I need a pair of those.

Reply

octocoffee May 6, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Ree-chan! It’s been a while since I’ve seen a review from you! (Or talked to you at all, for that matter.) Things have been going well for you, I’m hoping!

Anyway, I love your interpretation of the “sexy little things” PV. I didn’t really know how to tackle it as a video, but your ideas are helping me see what Ayu is trying to say about men and women. I think the bit about the models being quirky and themselves really hit me the most. It’s definitely an interesting concept, and the haute couture/avant garde style is so lovely and really brings the whole PV to a surrealistic level, which definitely makes it feel like an introspection into the mind.

Reply

Rinoa August 30, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Hey octocoffee! Yes I’ve been busy so now I am writing on and off.

I am glad you enjoyed my interpretation. It’s quite a chaotic video at first but then you start piecing the concepts together and it’s quite an interesting video indeed. It’s deffo a touch of genius.

Reply

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