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What is Going on in Maroon 5’s “Animals” Music Video?

Maroon 5’s new music video for its song “Animals” takes the cliché line “looking at someone like a piece of meat” to a literal, beyond creepy level. The video depicts Adam Levine as a butcher-by-day, stalker-by-night character who “pursues” Behati Prinsloo’s character, taking photos of her and following her without her knowledge. The video’s angsty backdrop is Levine’s character doing pull-ups in a darkened slaughterhouse surrounded by bloody cow carcasses. The dramatic and visually jarring climax of the video is Levine’s character sneaking into the woman’s house and lying in her bed while she’s asleep, fantasizing about having sex with her while gallons of blood rain down on them. I’m sorry, what? How is it possible that the numerous people involved in the production of this video were all okay with this concept?

The primary issue with the video isn’t the violence or stalking itself, but that it somehow confuses criminal acts of violence, obsession and coercion with romantic love. In the horror genre, it’s common knowledge that the stalker butcher drenched in blood is not the side you’re supposed to be rooting for, but by pairing this with the sexually charged tension of the video and the “hopeless romantic” vibe of Levine’s character, the message becomes warped. It makes it seen like Levine’s character’s stalker behavior is somehow justified or rational in the pursuit of the attention of a woman.

Additionally problematic is the fact that Prinsloo’s character openly rejects Levine’s character early on in the video. When Levine’s character follows her to a club (we can’t use the word creepy enough), it’s blatantly obvious that Prinsloo’s character turns him down not once, but twice. But somehow she ends up getting with him at the end of the video. Because breaking into a girl’s bedroom in the middle of the night and lying next to her while she sleeps is the way into a girl’s heart, am I right ladies?  

The lyrics on their own are regressive, implying that men are supposedly not in control of their “animalistic” tendencies and that women are “prey” that are easily swayed and manipulated.

We love you Adam, from that flawless face to that spot-on Frank Sinatra impression. But we can’t get behind this weird promotion of violent, sociopathic behavior in the name of romantic love and all for the sake of shock value.

Antara Sinha is a sophomore journalism/pre-med major at the University of Florida. She is a contributing writer for USA Today College, and this is her third semester as a writer for Her Campus UFL. Her interests include health, science and lifestyle writing, and she plans on pursing medical and science journalism.
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