They are young and old, cis and trans, straight and queer, in sickness and in health, and they come in countless colors, shapes, and sizes. They are women, and for four minutes and 15 seconds, John Legend pays them the basic respect that half the world’s population is routinely denied.
It is not a revolutionary video – at least, it shouldn’t be. Deceptively simple in form and function, You & I uses only a progression of medium shots of individual women. Presented with their totality, the differences fade away, and we are left with the fact that before anything else, women are simply and unignorably people.
That this is hailed as a radical political statement shows the sad state of our culture. But it makes such simple statements all the more important to make.