Kelsea Ballerini Shows Vulnerability in New Video for “Homecoming Queen?” [Watch]

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Some things are worth the wait and for Kelsea Ballerini’s fans, her new single, “homecoming queen?,” might fall into that category.

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The long-awaited first single from Kelsea’s third studio album has just been released, along with the companion music video, and it easily could be the artist’s most vulnerable piece of her career so far.

The video begins with Kelsea, dressed in a stunning scarlet suit and boots, exiting the stage after a show and entering her dressing room alone and pensive. As she sits down and begins to sing, the camera circles around her, capturing the background of glitz and glamor falling away and being replaced with the reflection of a young girl hoping for approval and reaching for perfection. One setting shows a teenager practicing her performance in front of a mirror, while another shows a young lady pulling up her top to pinch at her flesh implying the question, “am I thin enough?”

Meanwhile, Kelsea has removed her eyelashes and extensions, cleared off her make-up and her glamorous stage wear has been replaced by a sweatshirt and jeans. And as the lyrics dig deeper into the facade of perfection, the emotion of scrutiny and judgment wells up in Kelsea’s eyes.

“What if I told you the world wouldn’t end / If you started showing what’s under your skin. / What if you let ‘em all in on the lie / Even the homecoming queen cries.”

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While “homecoming queen?” reflects a melancholy that many women feel at some time in their life, it also showcases Kelsea’s growing maturity and evolution as a singer, an entertainer and a role model who takes on those challenges with great benevolence.