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Beyonce Shows How 'Pretty Hurts' in New Video

Pop star celebrates 'Time' 100 by dropping intense, touching video to self-titled album's opening track

Beyonce performs in London, England.
Matt Kent/WireImage
April 24, 2014 10:20 AM ET

Beyoncé is this year's Time 100 cover star and to celebrate the occasion, the news outlet has debuted the official video for "Pretty Hurts," the opening track to her surprise 2013 album, Beyoncé.

Find Out How Beyoncé Kept Her Latest Album a Complete Secret

The clip opens with the sound of a poignant piano as contestants at a beauty pageant primp and prim backstage. Bey rubs jelly on her teeth, squabbles with another girl over a hair dryer and — intercut with shots of her slouched around a living room surrounded by trophies — exits a bathroom stall, wiping her mouth as if she just made herself vomit.

After taking the stage as Miss 3rd Ward and belting out the song's opening hook a cappella, Beyoncé goes through the intense, borderline violent motions of pageantry prep. She works out ceaselessly, pops diet pills, gets poked with a botox needle, sprayed with tanning lotion, endures a pestering coach and forces herself to throw up.

Outside the moments where she's alone, a smile never leaves Bey's face — even when a question about her aspirations causes an internal existential meltdown — and she continues to beam when she ultimately takes second place. But the shots of her bashing her trophy shelf prove way more cathartic than any pageant victory.

To help promote the video and its body-positive message, Beyoncé and Time are also asking fans to upload photos or videos to Instagram with the tag #WhatIsPretty. You can find out more details on the WhatIsPretty website as well.

This year's Time 100 list features a handful of other prominent musicians including Pharrell Williams, Miley Cyrus and Carrie Underwood (their blurbs were penned by fellow stars as well, Justin Timberlake, Dolly Parton and Brad Paisley, respectively).

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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