On 2005's "These Words," Natasha Bedingfield laid bare her considerable pop talents and penchant for undeniably catchy melodies. The song erupted across Top 40 radio despite blatantly referencing non-hip literary icons Byron, Shelley and Keats. But her singularity was born precisely from the wit of her words, which used the songwriting process to illuminate the value of unique self-expression. The infectious quality of the song was the literal validation of the writer's theme, "these words are my own, from my heart flown."
It was the direct and abrupt sincerity of that chorus, "I love you, I love you, I love you," which made the track ultimately so endearing. On her latest pop masterpiece, "I Wanna Have Your Babies," Bedingfield once again toys with our perceptions of what can and can't be said in public. But as Dave Meyers' video comically reinforces, this time she is also manufacturing a critique of relations between the sexes. And she does so with heaping amounts of that same charming wit.
The video is cheesy and somewhat gaudy, but the tone matches the song note for note. Bedingfield uses her sex appeal to lure different men, but it seems obvious from the start her goal is childbearing - and not love. Each of her first three suitors fails to embrace this same ideology. She pokes fun at the hypocrisy of men who use women for sex but are adverse to the notion of fatherhood, but this concept is only loosely dealt with.
After all Bedingfield isn't entirely attempting a serious critique of male society here. One could argue that she herself is superficially picking up men in this video whom she thinks would make adept mates, rather than searching for a "connection" of some sort. But in truth her enthusiasm for motherhood is both a literal desire and an intentionally bold statement for effect. It's part of a weeding out process in which she observes her potential partner's reaction to her exclamation, before deciding to go forth. It's only the meager coffee shop employee, who isn't scared of fatherhood, who gets the kiss in the end.
Bedingfield isn't necessarily looking for someone to impregnate her immediately (though it's obviously on her mind), but she does want someone who isn't afraid of responsibility or of strong-willed women who know what they want and speak their mind. The apex of the song rests in her delivery of the lines "I keep on faking, so my heart don't get broke/I'm in the big (x4) ocean, in a tiny little boat/ I only put the idea out there, if I know it's going to float." She nails the hesitancy and doubt we all experience in expressing our feelings. It seems much easier in retrospect to reply to an abrupt "I love you," than to be able to confidently answer "I wanna have your babies." But Natasha Bedingfield is tired of playing those games, she wants to scream her every desire at the top of her lungs. If you can't handle her openness than you aren't worth her time. We could all use a dose of her confidence.
Listen: Natasha Bedingfield "I Wanna Have Your Babies"