We were not particularly impressed with One Direction’s debut single ‘What Makes You Beautiful’; it was cheesy, unimaginative and quite a disappointment after so long a wait, but it seems they cannot do any wrong in the eyes of their hardcore fans – predominantly hysterical teenage girls (oh, and of course some of us gay guys). They teased us with a lyrics video to accompany the song and promised a great video would soon be released – and now it’s here. Unfortunately, it is not so great and adds to our dissatisfaction rather than rescues the boys from their mediocre song.
Set around an empty beach in Malibu, we see the five cuties driving an orange campervan along the highway and frolicking along on the coast. Three lucky girls (that’s two that miss out, then, unless they can share) join them and indulge in some PG-rated fun; running and playing in the shallow water and sand, and gathering around a campfire during a gorgeous sunset. The boys do – of course – all look rather adorable, but those hoping to see a little flesh-baring will have to make do with a two-second long glimpse of them splashing around topless in the sea. It is literally a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ moment.
Overall, the ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ video is, as we had predicted, one best watched muted, but it’s nothing to get over-excited about. However, what the song lacks in anything the slightest bit likeable, the video makes up for in portraying a stereotypical Americanised summer by the beach with five guys who look like they could easily be Abercrombie & Fitch models if their music careers continue on the path marked by this weak debut single. That is hardly surprising, considering the director, John Urbano, has already worked with the ‘famous for the hottest models’ clothiers for many years. Hopefully the boys’ next direction will not continue downwards.