3. Beyoncé, "Pretty Hurts"
Directed by Melina Matsoukas
Both Rihanna and Katy Perry turned down "Pretty Hurts" before Beyoncé snatched the song, using it to view her beauty pageant past through feminist eyes. The seven-minute video, shot in a Brooklyn high school, is totally straight-forward, a near-documentary in a video album of fantasy, and this feel is reinforced by the closing footage of the young singer competing at an event in Houston. The song and the video both display one of Beyoncé's many gifts: her ability to mine the deeply personal for mass appeal.