Did that just happen? So much resilience in one video?
Watching Maroon 5’s video had a lot of people speechless. I had goosebumps feeling so connected to a song just by visuals. I kept replaying it, shocked that a video like this was actually made and frustrated that I was shocked. At first, I could not tell you what other words were in it. I kept hearing “Girls Like You” reinforced with every new beat. Music today feels like the same beat, same song, same artists. This was different, it wasn’t about epic collaborations and which celebrities are trending on twitter. This was about activists – powerful and strong women – ordinary women being revolutionary.
The soft guitar hit your heart in a different way than his other songs. There was such rawness and vulnerability with him in the center of the room. As you observed him throughout the video, you could see that Adam acknowledged his male privilege and knew when to step out of the center. The first introduction was Camila Cabello, a Cuban American who openly discussed accepting a teacher’s incorrect version of her name because she was too shy to correct her. The cameos kept pouring in with every shape, age, culture, race, religion, and personality. This wasn’t about sexuality, it was about courage and resistance.
Punjabi Youtube Superstar, activist, and #GirlLove Founder, Lilly Singh entered in with her amazing dance skills ending with a kiss blown to the audience. That beautiful gesture was connected to the empowerment goals of her #GirlLove campaign that helped shatter some historic walls on how young girls see each other. Lilly made way for Amani to take the center, who looked fiercely into the camera. Amani reminded young Muslims everywhere that she will never back down from the fight for justice and equality. Amani wore our latest MuslimGirl hat showcasing how words are her weapons of resistance. As a Punjabi Muslim woman, I found myself tearing up. I felt seen in a different way than media constantly tries to show us. We were seen as strong, fierce women of color – we do matter, our words matter, our pain matters, our existence matters.
When Undocumented Youth Activist Angy Rivera turned to the camera, she stood there for a few seconds displaying her shirt: “Undocumented. Unafraid. Unapologetic.” Angy empowers this generation leading conversations on vulnerability, strength, and community against the repeated injustices from the Trump Administration. Her presence itself served as a beacon of strength of those who have “came out” about their immigration status and to remind worried parents, Dreamers and their families to not be afraid with recent events – that they are seen, and that they will be heard.
Adam steps out of the screen, bowing out to another strong woman of color to speak her truth. Cardi B takes the center stage rapping, “I’m sure the other girls were nice enough, but you need someone to spice it up. I don’t really want a white horse and carriage” breaking even more boundaries and gender norms of how a woman are expected to act and think.
My shock continued when behind Adam pops up our first Somali American Representative Ilhan Omar known for breaking boundaries. As a former refugee and resilient Muslim woman, she has transformed how politicians carry themselves. When she won her election, she said, “This was a victory for every person that’s been told they have limits on their dreams.”
Ending it with a moment of silence allowed for us to hold the sacred collective strength of all women everywhere. This video was a crucial statement that our liberation is connected and bound together. As a young woman watching this video, you don’t feel like you are watching any other video. Somehow, you found yourself standing up in that room also part of the resistance. From comedians like Phoebe Robinson, Sarah Silverman, Franchesca Ramsey to celebrities like Gal Gadot, Trace Lysette, Millie Bobby Brown, Ellen DeGeneres, Mary J. Blige, Beanie Feldstein, Elizabeth Banks, Ashley Graham, Rita Ora, Jennifer Lopez, Tiffany Haddish, Behati Prinsloo; athletes like Ally Raisman, Chloe Him, Alex Morgan, Danica Patrick; and politicians like Ilhan Omar, activists like Jackie Fielder and Amani Al-Khatahtbeh – each woman stood in solidarity.
This isn’t just a song. “Girls Like You” is a war cry that we are all in this together. We can speak our truth together and begin the fight for justice. The time is now.