It was the battle cry of a pleather-clad generation circa 2011: “I was born this way, baby!” with a growling emphasis on “born,” just like Lady Gaga herself would always perform the hit song. Nearly a decade later, the track is still percolating through socially-aware pop music, but even the strongest of messages call for reinforcement after time wears at away their vigor. With “Hot.,” Yavin offers a welcome sequel to the self-acceptance anthem that changed the world.
The Boston pop singer’s new single presents its flirty sentiments as blushing but bold, and its accompany music video, out today (October 13), pens a love letter to the diverse beauty of the LGBTQIA+ community. The inspiration for the video, Yavin says, was spurred on by years of exclusionary experiences, namely with regards to being “hot enough” or fitting the pre-established model of what an attractive queer person “should” look like.
“The concept for this video came about purely from personal experience,” Yavin explains to Vanyaland. “I, as well as many of my queer loved ones, have had so many experiences of guys making me feel unattractive for being short, not having big muscles, not being as stylish, etc — both directly on dating apps like Grindr, and indirectly from simply being in queer nightclubs where I would feel invisible. It’s important to note that I don’t even receive the brunt of it because I still benefit from being white, cis, skinny, able-bodied, and so much more.”
Reflecting on those experiences, Yavin cast the video for “Hot.” accordingly, uplifting a variety of body types and identities — because the best way to break the mold is to demonstrate why molds shouldn’t exist to begin with.
“Queer people are not exempt from beauty standards and gatekeeping, which is interesting because the outside world already outcasts us enough as is,” he adds. “I hope that this video sends a message that we all deserve to feel hot, and I hope that any queer person that identifies with this can take it to heart.”