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Why trolls bashing Fergie's 'MILF$' video have it all wrong

Lizzy Hill is an internationally published writer, into writing about arts and entertainment, food and drink, feminism and her own misadventures. With a background in film and television production, journalism and visual arts, Lizzy's in...

Fergie's new music video celebrates motherhood and sexuality — get over it

Fergie just released "MILF$," a fun, racy new video featuring several cameos from celeb moms including Kim Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen and Ciara. The video quickly went viral and features lots of risqué moments, like Teigen breastfeeding in a low-cut dress and Kardashian sensually dousing herself with milk. Predictably, the video has already attracted a lot of internet hate for the wrong reasons.

More: 15 empowering quotes about female sexuality

Fergie's trying to reclaim the word MILF by changing the acronym to "Mom's I'd Like to Follow" in her video, a move that she told Entertainment Weekly is "about empowering women who do it all.” Fergie explains: “They have a career, a family, and still find the time to take care of themselves and feel sexy. With a wink of course :).”

Fergie's new music video celebrates motherhood and sexuality — get over it
Image: YouTube/MILF$

Not everyone sees it that way. "All I see is women with NO self respect," writes one YouTube commenter. Another demands the singer "grow old gracefully." And, of course, there are many more slut-shaming comments too vulgar and hateful to repeat. Several others took to Twitter to call out the music video for being "trash" or to declare that Fergie's music makes them "sad for the human race."

We live in an age of sexualized pop music videos, so what's so offensive or shocking about this one in particular? "MILF$" crosses a line for many people who find it uncomfortable to conceive of mothers as sexual beings in their own right. Teigen's daughter, Luna, and Alessandra Ambrosio's daughter, Anja, also made cameos, which of course further drives home the fact that these women who've sexualized themselves are also mothers.

More: I won't let my mom tum stop me from wearing a crop top

Fergie's new music video celebrates motherhood and sexuality — get over it
Image: Youtube.com/MILF$
Fergie's new music video celebrates motherhood and sexuality — get over it
Image: Youtube/MILF$

Obviously, having money and wearing racy housewife outfits doesn't automatically lead to empowerment. And not all moms want to live in "Milfville" and get ogled by the "Milfman" as he drives around in his milk truck while they're going about their yard work or errands — it looks a bit annoying! That being said, if you are a mom and this video speaks to your fantasies, that's cool, too. And it doesn't make you any less empowered, despite the fact that a disappointing number of people see wearing revealing clothes and self-respect as mutually exclusive.

"MILF$" isn't by any means a perfect example of what leading an empowered life as a mother ought to look like — it's a lighthearted, poppy video that focuses on one narrow representation of what sexuality might look like for some women, taking a lot of its visual references, like a classroom scene featuring a busty Fergie in a pencil skirt, from heterosexual porn. Still, the video is refreshing because the featured celebrities are flaunting societal expectations of acceptable behavior for women who've given birth. And it's also sad because it's still shocking in 2016.

More: Why I don't care if you think I'm a bad parent

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