Saturday, June 30, 2018

Mitski's "Nobody" Music Video Explained

I'm a huge fan of Mitski ever since I discovered her when she was the opener for the Lorde Concert (Melodrama Tour). My favorite Mitski songs include, "Your Best American Girl," "Townie," and "First Love / Late Spring." Mitski recently released a new music video for her new song called, "Nobody." I think it's a very well-thought out video with a lot of creativity and symbolism so I wanted to analyze it.

Mitski's "Nobody", Music Video Meaning and Interpretation

The main theme of the song and of the music video is loneliness

The Beginning Scene References The Ending Scene

Nobody Mitski on a date with herself
Mitski on a date with herself

In the beginning, you see two Mitskis drinking a milkshake with each other. It is framed like Mitski is going on a date with herself. The main conclusion Mitski reaches towards the ending of the video is that though she thinks she has "nobody," she actually has herself. That is why at the ending, you see the words "You," the same way, "Nobody" was listed. In the picture above, the two Mitskis are looking in each others eyes and drinking from the same glass so it is an intimate feeling. Instead of lamenting on her loneliness, the music video tells Mitski that she should spend some time with herself and get to know herself better. 



The hourglass shape of the milkshake glass is also important. I believe it is alluding to how the music video is distorting time. I believe the beginning scene actually takes place AFTER the ending scene. The scene pictured above happens AFTER Mitski discovers the words, "You," on her hand, effectively teaching her that she should spend time with herself.  

Mitski Nobody magnifying glass
Mitski doesn't have nobody - she has herself!


No Faces Means No Connection

Mitski Nobody Faces
Faces are scribbled out because Mitski can't connect with other humans
No one in the music video has faces. The sitcom is shot below the neck. The waiters of the restaurant are also only seen dancing with their legs and torso. I believe Mitski not being able to see faces is symbolic of her not being able to connect with anyone. She wishes she could. If you notice her breakfast, she has arranged it in the shape of a smile because that is how much she wants that connection. 
Mitski Nobody Breakfast
The only other face in the music video


I believe watching TV is a way to get some easy, quick, but fake, connection. You see other humans on the screen who might have similar emotions and struggles as you. But it's not as real as actual human beings in real life so that's why the tv humans still don't have a face.


The World Isn't Able To Connect With Her Either

Mitski may not be to connect with others, but others aren't able to connect with her either. That is why she receives a painting of her without her face. That's how other people see her. Maybe she can't open up and show who she really is to other people. Since other people can't connect with her, they can't see her face. The arms that pop out of the wall may symbolize her self-sabotage. The arms try to rip out her face even more. Maybe Eugene Farley, the person who created the painting, wanted to connect with her. That is why he drew her. But he just couldn't draw her face because she didn't show herself fully to him. Mitski is happy someone kind of understands her enough to draw some of her so that's why she hangs the painting up with glee. 

When the arms rip out the painting, Mitski looks into the hole and sees a woman who she calls out for. I don't really understand the purpose of this woman. Maybe that woman is supposed to help her understand herself. She doesn't have black hair but you can see some black roots. Maybe this woman is Mitski in disguise. Maybe it is who Mitski is pretending to be instead of showing her real self. 

Mitski Nobody


After the painting rips, Mitski wants to call the artist. I think she does this because she wants the painting fixed or a duplicate. She wants the item that represents that at least someone understands her back. Maybe she calls Eugine so that he can tell her who she is. It doesn't go so well. The person who opens the door has Mitski's face but then it immediately gets erased. Maybe this symbolizes someone understanding her briefly and then just not being able to anymore.

Painting Mitski Is Dressed Like The Sitcom Characters


I love the attention to detail in this music video!! Mitski in the painting has the same green necklace and shirt as the lady in the sitcom!! Maybe this symbolizes Mitski trying to connect with the sitcom characters and being overly influenced by them instead. Mitski may be portraying a fake persona to the public. This fake persona is created by what she sees on TV and the media. Mitski still can't figure out who she really is on the inside. 

The Universe Gets In Her Way In Her Quest To Escape Loneliness 

The main premise of the music video is that Mitski is trying to escape her loneliness but the world prevents her from doing so. When she wakes up, half her bed runs away from her. The world is preventing her from sharing her bed with any one else. She is just supposed to be alone. Also, why is there an orange on her bed? Does anyone know the symbolism of the orange?



The world doesn't want her to connect. She can't dial the phone number to call Eugene. She can't read the mail she receives.

Another obstacle she faces is when she tries to read her diary. In order to read it, more and more cryptic clues come up. Eventually, she solves the puzzle. The "Nobody," turns into the, "You." She needs to stop focusing on how she has "nobody," and instead focus on what she does have - herself.

An inspiring message of self-love. 

What do you think Mitski's "Nobody," music video means? Let me know in the comments!! Also, what's up with the orange?!?!?!


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