by Nikki Levy | Wed., Jun. 6, 2018 11:52 AM
The video opens with Ora dressed in a Grecian-style gold gown and a necklace; she is surrounded by a group of women dressed in nude undergarments laying around her.
The video also features Charli XCX and Bebe Rexha, who appear in separate frames. Charli XCX is shown in the darkness outside dressed in all white, while Rexha is dressed in all red in a room full of mirrors.
The main spectacle arrives when Ora interacts with Cardi B, who appears as a hologram in the video. The pair dance around one another until they finally share a kiss toward the end of the song.
The video then ends where it began, with Ora sitting among a group of women. Except this time, the women appear stronger and more confident as they sit up, face forward and stare straight into the camera.
In May, Hayley Kiyoko wrote in a statement on Instagram that while she "fully supports" artists "opening up more and more about their sexual identities," she felt the messaging of the song was "downright tone-deaf" and "does more harm than good" for LGBTQ people.
"A song like this just fuels the male gaze while marginalizing the idea of women loving women," she continued. "I know this wasn't the intention of the artists on the song, but it's the lack of consideration behind these lyrics that really get me."
Ora addressed the backlash via Twitter, writing in part, "Girls was written to represent my truth and is an accurate account of a very real and honest experience in my life. I have had romantic relationships with women and men throughout my life and this is my personal journey. I am sorry how I expressed myself in my song has hurt anyone [sic]."
Cardi B also decided to apologize, writing on Twitter, "Listen to 'GIRLS' by Rita Ora ft me @BebeRexha @charli_xcx .We never try to cause harm or had bad intentions with the song. I personally myself had experiences with other woman, shiieeett with a lot of woman ! I though the song was a good song and i remember my experience [sic]."
On the criticism that the words and terminology used in the song was offensive, Cardi tweeted, "I know i have use words before that i wasn't aware that they are offensive to the LGBT community .I apologize for that .Not everybody knows the correct 'terms' to use.I learned and i stopped using it [sic]."
Alluding to the slur "d-ke" used in the song, Cardi added, "My own friends be like 'I'm a d-ke so i never thought it was offensive word. I was like wtf."
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