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"Unpretty" is a song by American R&B/Hip-Hop g
Tlc-unpretty

Green version of the CD single cover art

irl group TLC. It was produced by Dallas Austin and co-written by TLC member Tionne Watkins for their third studio album FanMail. It was released as the second single from FanMail and became the group's fourth U.S. #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, spending three weeks atop the chart and the second consecutive #1 single in from the album, following "No Scrubs". A critical success, the song was nominated for Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 2000 Grammy Awards.

Background and compositionEdit

"Unpretty" is a pop and R&B song with elements of alternative rock that started out as a poem written by TLC member Tionne Watkins, which dealt with a woman's struggle with her self-image and unrealistic perceptions of beauty. Together with long-time collaborator Dallas Austin, Watkins was able to adapt the poem into an empowering song for the group's female fan base to overcome feelings of physical inadequacy.

A remixed version of the song, sampling Dennis Edwards & Siedah Garrett's "Don't Look Any Further", was produced by JayDee of 1208Et. and "Mad" Mike Lewin.

Music videoEdit

Paul Hunter directed the song's music video, which was filmed from August 29, 1999 and cost over $1.6 million to make. The video ties together vignettes of several different stories relating to the song's lyrics. The main set of the vignettes features a young woman, portrayed by group member Chilli, whose boyfriend convinces her to get breast implants to augment her modest bust. However, after she sees another patient (portrayed by actress Jade Valerie) getting her implants painfully removed, the woman feels in fear and is later shown fighting with her boyfriend.
Tlc

A screen cap from the music video

Another prominent set of vignettes is Lopes as an inner-city woman who witness a gang fight and murder. Several of Lopes' scenes are set to her verse from "I'm Good at Being Bad", another track from FanMail, instead of "Unpretty" (Lopes appears in the "Unpretty" performance shots reciting the song's lyrics in sign language).

Other vignettes feature a full-figured teenager worried about her "ideal" image of the petite supermodel and struggling with bulimia as a result. Near the end of the video, however, she tears down the unrealistic images of models that she has tacked to her wall and changes into a bathing suit, a sign that she may be starting to embrace her own natural body shape. One last set of vignettes features Watkins as a high school student who is harrassed by two white males because she is black.

Track listingsEdit

  • US CD single (green cover)
  1. "Unpretty" (album version) - 4:38
  2. "Unpretty" (Don't Look Any Further Remix) - 4:25
  • UK CD single 1 of 2 (green cover)
  1. "Unpretty" (radio edit) - 4:08
  2. "No Scrubs" (radio edit) - 4:06
  3. "Diggin' on You" (radio edit) - 4:14
  • UK CD single 2 of 2 (blue cover)
  1. "Unpretty" (radio edit) - 4:08
  2. "Unpretty" (M. J. Cole Remix) [Vox Up] - 4:48
  3. "Unpretty" (Don't Look Any Further Remix) - 4:25
  • International Remix EP (blue cover)
  1. "Unpretty" (radio edit) - 4:01
  2. "Unpretty" (Don't Look Any Further Remix) - 4:26
  3. "Unpretty" (Don't Look Any Further Remix w/rap) - 4:27
  4. "Unpretty" (Pumpin' Dolls Radio Mix) - 4:03
  5. "Unpretty" (Don't Look Any Further Remix) [Big Boyz Dub Mix] - 5:00
  6. "Unpretty" (Pumpin' Dolls Club Mix) - 8:59
  • German CD single (green cover)
  1. "Unpretty" (radio edit) - 4:09
  2. "Unpretty" (album version) - 4:38
  3. "Unpretty" (M. J. Cole Remix) [Vox Up] - 4:48
  4. "Unpretty" (M. J. Cole Remix) [Budd Dub] - 5:35
  5. "Unpretty" (instrumental) - 4:41

CoversEdit

  • "Unpretty" was covered by La Musique Populaire in their 2004 boxed set A Century of Song.
  • A cover version of "Unpretty" appears in the video game Donkey Konga 2 for the Nintendo Gamecube despite the fact that group member T-Boz is a gamer all licensed tracks are covers.
  • In 2011, "Unpretty" was covered by the hit television series 'Glee featuring Dianna Agron and Lea Michele in a mashup with the song "I Feel Pretty" from West Side Story in the season two episode "Born This Way".

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