The lyrics of “Kiwi” — the seventh track on Harry Styles’ latest, self-titled album — tell quite a story.
This story revolves around a woman who is admired by everyone. She drinks hard liquor and smokes cheap cigarettes. But don’t worry — although she is flawed, she is beautiful. Her defining features include her face and, for some reason, her neck (“Such a pretty face, on a pretty neck”). Her most definite stance is that she plans on keeping the baby fathered by the song’s narrator. Not only that, but her decision to do this is absolutely none of the narrator’s business (“I think she said ‘I’m having your baby, it’s none of your business’/ ‘I’m having your baby, it’s none of your business”).
The music video for “Kiwi,” which was released Nov. 8, tells a bit of a different story, though it still involves children. To fully contemplate each aspect of this video, I wrote out a second-by-second analysis.
0:01 — A title card reveals that “No children or animals were harmed during the making of this film.” I immediately brace for gruesome images of both children and animals.
0:10 — A stone-faced little girl makes her way down a school hallway. She looks very cool, wearing a blue floral suit. She does not have a backpack, but she does have a Tupperware container full of cupcakes. Maybe this is some sort of culinary middle school? She’s dressed exactly like Harry Styles. I do not think this is a coincidence.
0:23 — The other children in this school have been revealed. They’re standing in a gymnasium/auditorium hybrid, in the middle of which sits an enormous pile of baked goods. The children circle the cakes, like little vultures.
1:06 — Cool Girl enters as the other children circle Cake Mountain. A very scary blonde boy with a toothpick in his mouth stares back at her. The Great Cake War of 2017 begins, as children begin pelting bread and icing at each other. It still has not been explained who these children are or how they relate to Harry Styles. Are they his children? Are they his nieces and nephews? Are they a child army Harry has assembled and is keeping in a middle school and feeding only cake?
1:51 — Icing hits the floor, the ceiling, the faces and clothes of the children. No one is safe from this confectionery weaponry. Realizing her cupcake artillery has been depleted, Cool Girl runs to Cake Mountain. She is desperate for more ammo — an allusion to the war-torn heroes of Dunkirk, perhaps?
2:12 — Enter Harry Styles. He is holding a puppy, because of course he is.
2:17 — I’m sorry, apparently he has brought an army of puppies. Harry Styles brought his army of adorable puppies to fight in this cake battle with his army of adorable children. Harry Styles has singlehandedly inspired the cutest war ever fought.
2:28 — The dogs begin eating the cake covering the ground. Harry, apparently an irresponsible dog owner, has failed to realize dogs are not supposed to eat chocolate. If it weren’t for the disclaimer at the beginning, I would be very worried about these dogs.
2:53 — All the children stand for a class photograph. Harry is center, directly above his mini-me in a matching outfit.
I’m left with so many questions. Was Cool Girl meant to represent Styles’ reckless daughter whom he supports even through her more dastardly decisions? Is the whole video alluding to Styles’ continued childlike innocence in the face of extreme fame? What happened to Scary Toothpick Kid? Are the dogs OK? The video doesn’t answer any of these questions outright. It just zooms in on Harry’s face. He gives a little smirk. Then it cuts to black.