As time goes on and mental health becomes less and less taboo (it’s about damn time mental disorders were destigmatized) one huge element of depression goes unexplored—at least, when it comes to representation in popular culture. That is: just how damn hard (and boring!) being sad is, especially when you’re a human expected to continue to do hard, boring human stuff, such as going to work or school. Paramore’s 2017 album After Laughter is all up in that space, an ‘80s-tastic musical endeavoring that has the former pop-punk heroes discussing the pain in pretending to be happy when you are, well, unhappy. Their latest music video for the track “Rose-Colored Boy” embodies that energy (peep it above.)
Paramore, the trio they are now, take on new roles in the video as 70’s-style morning newscasters on a fictional program titled Wake Up! Roseville. It’s all cute, fun and games until the cameras shut off and their fake smiles fade. Perhaps most affecting is at one point near the end when frontwoman Hayley Williams confronts her younger self, who gives her a bitter dose of reality—this isn’t her, this isn’t what she wants. Why is she pretending to be cheery when she’s clearly not?
Have you ever been depressed and held a job that requires some level of joyful presentation? Maybe you’ve been a teacher, or a waiter, or held any job in customer service, forced to appear stoked when you are very much not stoked. It’s fucked up, man. At least we have this video to share in our suffering, the kind that often feels isolating. If it happens to Paramore, it can happen to you. And you’re not alone—how glorious is that?