"Pretty Hurts" is a song recorded by American singer Beyoncé for her eponymous fifth studio album (2013). It impacted mainstream radioin the United States on June 10, 2014, as the fourth single from the album. The song was written by Ammo, Beyoncé and Sia, and its production was handled by the former two. "Pretty Hurts" was initially written for Katy Perry and then offered to Rihanna; both artists failed to record the track and as a result it was sent to Beyoncé instead. It is a power pop, soul ballad, instrumentally complete with a sparse background honed with the use of synths, minor chords and a "booming" drum beat. The track's lyrical content deals with subjects of third-wave feminism, self-empowerment and body image. Additionally, the song's lyrics deal with the consequences of society's high standards of beauty, and in "Pretty Hurts" eating disorders are depicted as one of the subjected results.
The song garnered mostly positive reviews from music critics who commended Beyoncé's vocal performance and the track's lyrical content. "Pretty Hurts" won in the category for Best Song with a Social Message at the 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards and was named the best track of 2014 by the Associated Press. Following the release of Beyoncé, the track charted in the lower regions internationally, and when released as a single, "Pretty Hurts" attained limited success commercially. It failed to enter the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number 63 on the UK Singles Chart. However, the song became Beyoncé's 21st number one on the US Hot Dance Club Songs chart, and was placed at number four on its 2014 year-end chart.
The accompanying music video for "Pretty Hurts" was directed by Melina Matsoukas, and features Beyoncé competing in a beauty pageant. The clip was made available at iTunes Stores as part of the album's release on December 13, 2013. The video was positively reviewed by critics who complimented Beyoncé's acting and the cohesion between the clip and the song's message. It won in the categories for Best Video with a Message and Best Cinematography at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. Rolling Stone included the clip in their year-end list of the 10 best music videos of 2014. Beyoncé performed "Pretty Hurts" during her co-headlining On the Run Tour(2014).