By Nisha Susan
Thirteen days to go in 2017 and it’s already time for those best of lists. I am thrilled to see that Dua Lipa is the most streamed woman of 2017. It’s as cool as knowing that in 2017 Cardi B became the first woman rapper since 1998 to top the American charts. And in a way the preoccupations of 22-year-old Dua Lipa’s hit New Rules and Cardi B’s record-busting track Bodak Yellow are similar. While Dua Lipa stops at saying don’t trust men, it’s bad for your feelings, Cardi B goes on to tell women that you could make money by treating men as unscrupulously as they treat women. It’s addictive watching Cardi’s cobra-sway head moves but for sheer music video watching pleasure I (and millions of others) have watched 22-year-old Dua Lipa’s New Rules over and over.
The New Rules video has the all-female island feel of Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda video. But where Anaconda was a superheated, grown-up island of Amazons with pink dumbbells and extra doses of ironic comment about the size of butts and penises, New Rules is a seemingly sincere fantasy of female solidarity and nice sunglasses. Much of the video involves Lipa’s tight squad of girl pals preventing her from getting back in touch with a douche boyfriend. The girl pals pop up magically in every room and athletically in the corridor like extras in old style musicals. Unlike stock character girl pals in music videos who are usually there as hot accessories, the extras in New Rules, in turn, get their abbreviated story of being supported through break-ups. It’s a happy feminist kibbutz with really good sleepover chic. It’s hard not to feel as warm as if you are in fleecy pyjamas while watching the video. Hence the 795 million views.
And in case you are wondering, here are the rules Lipa sings of.
One, don’t pick up the phone
You know he’s only calling ’cause he’s drunk and alone
Two, don’t let him in
You have to kick him out again
Three, don’t be his friend
You know you’re gonna wake up in his bed in the morning
And if you’re under him
You ain’t getting over him.
I wonder whether someone has sent Dua Lipa the Wendy Cope poem already. You know the one.
Two Cures for Love
1. Don’t see him. Don’t phone or write a letter.
2. The easy way: get to know him better.