Here’s Beastie Boys’ Sexist ‘Girls’ Remade for a Fantastic Toy Ad
'Licensed to Ill' track goes girl-power in commercial for feminist toys
As classic as the Beastie Boys’ 1986 debut album Licensed to Ill is, there’s plenty about it that might give a liberal-minded parent pause before playing it around the kids. Set aside how they wanted to call the album Don’t Be a Faggot, a fact that has come up since in debates over Odd Future and Eminem. But if you were ever a teenage boy (or girl), you might have heard other teenage boys play the album’s sing-songy “Girls” (“to do the dishes … to do the laundry .. I oughta whip out my …”) unironically. Teenage boys are awful.
The Beasties didn’t perform “Girls” live, so even in those prehistoric days they might’ve had some pangs of consciousness. And now, via MTV, along comes a girls’ toy commercial that totally redeems the song for your average attempted supporter of, well, girls. Promoting GoldieBlox, “a toy company on a mission to inspire the next generation of female engineers,” the two-minute ad features a rewritten version of the song where actual girls sing lyrics awesomely critiquing existing toys (“You think you know what we want … pink and pretty … just like the ’50s”).
The visuals show a Rube Goldberg machine that’s set in motion by a toy turntable. Props for that go to Brett Doar, whose Rube Goldberg work for OK Go! has more than 40 million views — and who’d better watch out, because a generation of young women will soon be gunning for his job.