Watch Rose McGowan's Jarring, NSFW 'RM486' Video

Actress-turned-singer dons extravagant costumes challenging Hollywood's beauty standards

Rose McGowan has taken her fight against Hollywood's sexism and problematic beauty standards into the world of music, releasing an arresting, not-safe-for-work video to accompany her new single, "RM486," via Nowness.

Music video vet Jonas Åkerlund (Madonna, Lady Gaga, Metallica) directed the clip, which opens with McGowan peeling layers of plaster from her body until she appears hairless, nude and ghastly white. This "Alien" character represents McGowan in her purest, most natural form, and is the first of several characters she embodies throughout the clip.

In a statement, McGowan detailed her various personas: The "Dark Beauty" is a challenge to preconceived standards of beauty and misconceptions about her "goth phase," while "Green Hair Hollywood" channels the "agitated glamor" the spotlight has inspired. The spikes of "Needles" represent McGowan's "armor and shield," but she's also prone to attack as "Red Glitter Bomb." McGowan finally presents herself as "Art," the most powerful and raw version of her self. 

"All five characters in the video are versions of me," McGowan said. "All are pieces that make up my whole — an artist, a public figure, and most importantly, as a person. I’m pushing back at the idea of what I am supposed to be. I want to expose people to art in a real way, and I want to change the idea of what beauty is. There is true power in art and true power in we who believe in it."

As for the song itself, "RM486" opens with a distant, somber piano progression before morphing steadily into an understated, but pulsating, dance-pop cut anchored by a taut synth line and McGowan's airy, chilling vocals. The track is available to purchase via iTunes.

Though best known as an actress, McGowan has dabbled in music throughout her career: Her song "Protection" was featured in her 2001 film Stranger Hearts, she delivered a rendition of Peggy Lee's "Fever" on her hit WB series Charmed and performed three tracks in Planet Terror, which were included on the Grindhouse soundtrack. McGowan has expressed an interest in pursuing a full-fledged music career in recent years, especially as her disillusionment with the film industry has grown.

"In the last few years I’ve actually released some songs under different names, just me pranking the public," McGowan told Nowness. "I woke up one day and realized I hated acting and that I’d always hated it. Imagine, its predominantly men whose scripts get done so it was mostly a male voice coming out of my mouth for 15 years."