Jay-Z and Beyonce may be a model of a two-career music industry couple where both partners are obviously tremendously proud and supportive of each other’s work. But Pink’s latest video for her single “True Love,” released yesterday, is a worthwhile reminder of how appealing she and her husband, retired motocross racer Carey Hart are.
The clip, which is a combination of tour footage of Pink, Hart, and their daughter Willow, and stylized images of them riding bikes together, is a testament to how crazy Pink and Hart–who separated from each other for a time, but who never bothered to divorce, and who renewed their vows before having Willow–clearly are about each other, and how much they have. Though Hart isn’t named in the song, bringing him visually into the video makes him explicitly the subject of the lyrics. And the use of tour footage, along with stylized family scenes, do something more complicated, suggesting that Pink’s status as a musician who’s significantly more famous than her husband doesn’t prevent her from being an involved parent, and letting Pink speak for the couple about their relationship.
It helps, of course, that Hart still has a job even if he’s no longer on the motocross and motorcycle circuits–no one’s going to assume that images of him riding a bike around a stadium during her rehearsals, and goofing on Pink while she rehearses suggest that he’s a bored househusband or anything.
But there’s still something striking about seeing Hart let his wife use him as a character in her work, and by participating in her videos, make it clear that he’s signed off on her narrative of their marriage. And this isn’t the first time she’s done it, either. Four months ago, Hart appeared in Pink’s video for “Just Give Me A Reason,” a track that’s very clearly about her struggles to stay in the relationship, and her doubts about his fidelity:
There, instead of Hart speaking for himself, fun.’s Nate Ruess is effectively in dialogue with Pink. Hart’s physically present in the video, but once again, his presence serves more to endorse his wife’s version of events than to counter them.
And most notably, four years ago, when Pink released the clip for “So What,” a video that showed her inking out affectionate tattoos and cutting out a tree with “Alicia + Carey” carved into it, along with a lot of other grief-stricken misbehavior, Hart appeared in the video in a bridge where Pink outlines her complaints about their relationship:
Given that the song was from her album about their split, it’s a relatively emotionally generous thing to do, and shows a lot of respect on Hart’s behalf for what his wife thought would be most effective for her career.
It’s one thing for Jay-Z to rhyme of the time that he and Beyonce were on a break in “Lost One,” that “But she loves her work more than she does me / And honestly, at twenty-three
I would probably love my work more than I did she / So we, ain’t we / It’s me, and her / ‘Cause what she prefers over me, is work / And that’s, where we, differ / So I have to give her / Free, time, even if it hurts / So breathe, mami, it’s deserved / You’ve been put on this earth to be / All you can be.” That’s a verse that essentially extends absolution to Beyonce for pursuing her career over her relationship.
It’s something else entirely for Hart to stand up for Pink’s career in the sickness and the health of their relationship, to enhance her platform rather than seeking out his own. It would be fantastic for all celebrity couples where both partners want to work to be at equivalent places in their careers at all times. But that’s not always going to be the case, and seeing more celebrity hubbies standing up with obvious pride for their successful wives, even and especially on work less sensitive than this, would be a delightful thing to see.