Music Article

INXS = PC

Bulimia video -- An eating disorder is at the heart of INXS's single, ''Beautiful Girl''

In the great rock & roll tradition of excess, and as befits their name, INXS is grabbing attention with an extremely PC, in-your-face video for its single ''Beautiful Girl.'' Taking bulimia as its theme, the video indulges in some none-too-subtle images — a woman trapped in a newspaper-lined cube; symbols of oppression like weighing scales, silicone implants, and surgical instruments — all flashing between word barrages like ''liposuction is stupid'' and ''purge.''

Is this some kind of message to supermodel Helena Christiansen, who's dating INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence? No, insists the Australian front man. It was not Hutchence, but director Mark Pellington — whose most recent video was Pearl Jam's ''Jeremy'' — who suggested the concept. And it was Pellington who decided on using normal-looking women to depict pop-culture victims, pressured by the media to meet unattainable standards of perfection. In fact, says Hutchence, his girlfriend helped plan the video with him and Pellington. ''She was supportive,'' says Hutchence, ''probably because the video is the antithesis of her — she eats what she likes, does what she likes, doesn't go to the gym, and is not obsessed with those pressures.''

Originally posted Feb 26, 1993 Published in issue #159 Feb 26, 1993 Order article reprints
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