Pretty vacant

5Apr - by Sandy and Harry Summers - 0 - In MUSIC

Hedley:  “Crazy for You” (2014) (music video)
From the album Wild Life (2013)
Video directed by Timur Musabay and J. Lee Williams
Universal Music Canada


Hedley is crazy for a naughty nurse

 cover The video for the Canadian pop band Hedley’s new song “Crazy for You” features an oddly restrained naughty nurse character. “Crazy for You” is on the album Wild Life, although the tune’s safe, unremarkable dance-pop might be better described as Mild Life. The song uses insanity as a metaphor for love, which may have been done once or twice before. By itself, the song says nothing about nursing. But the equally clichéd video features the band members as inmates in a prison-like mental health institution, complete with sexy female jailers. These staffers include an attractive young “nurse” who first appears giving out pills to the inmates through their cell doors. She wears a very short white dress, white stockings, high heels, and nurse’s cap; the dress has a very low-cut back but a big red cross on the front, with no cleavage visible. After the nurse arrives at the cell of Hedley lead singer Jacob Hoggard and sees how awesome he is, she simply opens the door to his cell. That seems to lead to a magical “jailbreak,” with the band and jailer-babes running around with no obvious destination for the rest of the video. The nurse character reappears at the very end, walking away arm in arm with Hoggard. Overall she is pretty tame and even seems a little vacuous. At least her demeanor mostly neutralizes the ghost of Nurse Ratched that might otherwise haunt the video, with its theme of sexually-tinged female oppression in a mental health institution. But any naughty nurse image reinforces the association of nursing and female sexuality that has long undermined the profession. And it’s hard to be crazy about that.

Go straight to signing our online petition or read more below the video.

film strip Crazy for YouHedley is a Vancouver band led by Hoggard, a finalist in the 2004 edition of Canadian Idol. And “Crazy for You” is competently produced dance-pop, with its soft beats, light soul vocal, and Nile Rodgers-like rhythm guitar. But the music and lyrics are, to put it charitably, not very compelling or original. Even the title has been used many times–a casual glance at one playlist reveals songs with that title by Adele, Madonna, and even the Magnetic Fields (to be fair, Stephin Merritt’s song was the far more intriguing “(Crazy for You But) Not That Crazy”.
You’re whole lotta crazy
I think you like it too
But let me tell you baby
I’m so crazy for you
That’s some good sh–
Whoa yeah, that’s some good sh– (oh)
that’s some good sh– (ooh)
that’s some good sh– (yeah)
There’s something bout the bright lights
You find them on the right nights
Forces you just can’t fight
You’re trouble but it’s alright (yeah)
Take control, please own me
Only love can save me
You’re whole lotta crazy
I think you like it too
But let me tell you baby
I’m so crazy for you
So lose your mind, you psycho
I think I like it too
I gotta tell you baby
I’m so crazy for you
After a few of these lines, the nurse closes the little observation window on Hoggard’s cell door and opens the door. She looks pretty blank, presumably hypnotized by the singer. In a sign of the times, a hovering drone suddenly appears down the hallway and the nurse turns to look. But when she turns back, the cell contains the full band playing the song. Scenes of the band’s liberation follow, with half-hearted pursuit by drones and the hot female staff / Hedley groupies, who seem more intrigued by the boys than anything else, interspersed with the band lip-syncing to the song. At the end, the “warden” finds herself sitting in one of the cells. As the cell door closes, we see Hoggard walking away from us down the hall, arm in arm with the naughty nurse.
On the whole, this is the naughty nurse as stock music video character, just a prop to mix into the mental health / imprisonment themes of the song. And although she is part of the prison staff, she is about as passive and compliant as she could be in that position, actually opening the door to Hoggard’s cell when she gets a look at how cute he is. The nurse is not very naughty as naughty nurses go–there’s no lingerie and nothing overtly sexual, beyond the ridiculous “uniform.” The last image of her walking with Hoggard is chaste and unthreatening, in keeping with the band’s general image. The nurse’s passive, pill-delivering, mildly sexual persona doesn’t send the message that nurses are authoritative health experts. But it does at least help undercut the obvious echo of the archetypical battle-axe character Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which was also set in a mental health facility in which an oppressive female essentially imprisoned men. By contrast, the Hedley boys don’t seem to be suffering.
Still, based on the character’s outfit, she is clearly a naughty nurse. And so she will still reinforce the decades of naughty nurse imagery that lessens respect for the profession and makes it hard for nurses to get the resources they need. The song was not a global hit, and only a modest one in Canada, but the video has been viewed more than four million times. Sure, it’s just a “joke,” but research confirms that “jokes” that disparage women and other groups add to social disrespect for the targets. And even if the nurse’s outfit had no sexual overtones, putting her in a situation in which her work edges so easily into romance with a patient would undermine the sense of nursing as a real profession. In fact, it is neither nurses’ job nor their inclination to seek romance with patients. Ultimately, this kind of imagery leads to a profession that may not be strong enough to save you–from mental illness, weak music, or anything else. We urge Hedley to withdraw or edit the video to avoid the naughty nurse imagery, and to make amends to nursing.

Please click here to sign our petition on! Thank you!

Reviewed April 5, 2015
Reviewed by Harry Jacobs Summers
Nursing Editor: Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH

The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the Board Members or Advisory Panel of The Truth About Nursing.

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