Colbie Caillat's Video for 'Try' Takes on Beauty Ideals

PHOTO: Recording Artist Colbie Caillat attends 104.3 MY FMs "My Big Night Out" concert at the Hollywood Bowl, June 16, 2014, in Hollywood, Calif. Paul Archuleta/Getty Images
Recording Artist Colbie Caillat attends 104.3 MY FM's "My Big Night Out" concert at the Hollywood Bowl, June 16, 2014, in Hollywood, Calif.

Singer Colbie Caillat's new video is sending a powerful message to women about their appearance and society's expectations of beauty.

In the song "Try," Caillat -- a pop singer/songwriter whose hits include "Lucky" and "Bubbly"-- addresses women, with lyrics that talk about women putting on makeup, getting their hair done and keeping their bodies slim so they are may be liked by others.

But in the song's hook, Caillat then sings: "You don't have to try so hard/You don't have to give it all away/You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up/You don't have to change a single thing."

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In the video first posted to YouTube on July 8, Caillat and other women of diverse ages, races and body types are shown singing the song. At first they are in makeup, but as the lyrics progress, they can be seen removing the makeup from their faces.

One woman also removes a wig to reveal a bald head, and Caillat herself removes hair extensions and fake eyelashes.

The song finishes: "Take your make-up off/Let your hair down/Take a breath/Look into the mirror, at yourself/Don't you like you?/Cause I like you."

The song is from Caillat's new album, "Gypsy Heart." In an interview that appeared on Elle magazine's website on July 10, Caillat said she went into the recording studio with producer Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds and explained to him she was tired of being pressured by others to look like someone she was not. He encouraged her to put those feelings to music.

"I don't have Photoshop on my album cover," she said in the interview. "At the video shoots, I'm doing less hair and makeup. For the 'Try' video I didn't prep or starve myself and over-exercise. And then I didn't get my nails done, I didn't get my hair done. I didn't get a facial. I didn't have a stylist."

The video appears to have struck a chord with viewers. It had been viewed more than 4.4 million times as of Sunday evening, and had generated lots of passionate debate.

One viewer on YouTube wrote: "Flawlessly beautiful. Inspiring in every way! And, no she is not saying 'You can't wear make-up!' She's saying simply be you. That if you do wear make-up, wear it because you want to not because you feel like you have to. That being said, all you ladies and gentlemen that do wear make-up... Just know that you are just as gorgeous without it :)"

"Personally, I love wearing makeup and dressing up! It makes me feel good and brings my confidence up 1000% ," wrote another, while yet another commented on the women who appeared in the video, saying: "I know they didn't have photoshopped 'perfect' skin, and they had 'imperfections,' but they were only the imperfections deemed appropriate. Nobody had acne. Nobody had any discoloration. Nobody had scars. The lighting was perfect. I like the message of the video, but it could have been presented in a less hypocritical way."

Other critical posters pointed out that overweight people should make an effort to be slimmer for their health and not simply for their appearance.

Caillat also told Elle that she still loves "getting dolled up," but also relishes the days when she can walk around makeup-free.

She said the hardest part about being a woman in today's society was feeling pressured to live up to others' expectations.

"When you have a cute outfit on and your makeup looks amazing, the first thing people comment on is your image. When you don't wear makeup, you hear things like, 'Oh wow, you look tired or you're so brave for not wearing makeup!'" she said.