What Message Is This Sending To Young Girls?!

thank you for the music? text across lined paper

Music has always been a big part of my life and during my childhood I loved watching Top of the Pops, listening to the top 20 on radio 1 whilst learning all the words to my favourite songs. Ok, I know some were controversial and Madonna may have sung about a few things that a child shouldn’t have heard – asking my Mum one day what a virgin was is a memory I will never forget! – But I guess that as long as we didn’t understand certain terms it was all seen as innocent. (She was very diplomatic by the way, ‘a type of lady’… well done Mum!) 

As the teen stage is entered music definitely takes a bigger feature in kid’s lives and I remember spending hours listening to the soppy songs, the angry ones, the fun ones, the shouty ones, to get through my teen angst.

I’m not up on what makes the charts anymore, though. I don’t listen to radio 1 and I don’t tend to ‘get’ some of the styles of today… getting old! Give me some 90’s tunes any day. However, when watching my weekly segment of Sunday Brunch last week I was exposed to a new young pop person and her song. It was kinda catchy which is why I stopped to listen to it and the words were pretty easy to pick up… and that’s where I was left pretty shocked. No, they weren’t risque, she wasn’t half naked prancing around, she wasn’t singing about sex toys or chains and it was all very ‘poppy’. My concern was over what message she was sending to young girls who would be listening. Apparently, it is ok to have a strong mind but when it comes to a boy, she is quite happy to do anything for him and dye her hair blonde? Take a read and see what you think:

I’m not that kinda girl

To easily get hurt

No bullets pierce my eyes shut

But there’s something in the way I act around you

Tryna turn your head

Laugh at jokes that I don’t get

There is something in the way I act around you

The way I feel about you

Not a thing I wouldn’t do

I will dye my hair blonde for you

I will dye my hair blonde for you

You got that mad power, the sweet and sour

You won’t cut me loose

There’s nothing that I wouldn’t do

I will dye my hair blonde for you

I will dye my hair blonde for you

You got that mad power, the sweet and sour

You won’t cut me loose

There’s nothing that I wouldn’t do

Don’t buy me fancy things

Don’t buy me any drinks

I pay for my own self, oh yeah I was raised to be free

Got my independency

Why do I get so weak?

Cause there’s something in the way I act around you

Tryna turn your head

Laugh at jokes that I don’t get 

There is something in the way I act around you

The way I feel about you

Not a thing I wouldn’t do

I will dye my hair blonde for you

I will dye my hair blonde for you…

 

You get the idea there… I couldn’t bear to subject you to the rest. I think she tells us often enough that the way she feels about him means there is nothing she wouldn’t do.

So, this lovely little pop star is telling girls,

‘hey, yeah girl you need to be independent in all areas of your life but as soon as a guy comes along just throw all that out of the window and do as he wants, change your looks as he asks and just do what he says’.

Wow, great advice to impressionable young girls there. Not to mention the fact that it also gives guys the idea that it’s ok for them to ask a girl to go and change her looks. In a day where we have better knowledge of mental health disorders, eating disorders and are aware that abusive relationships can begin very early on in people’s lives I really think that this song should be pulled by the record label. There are better ways to say I go giddy around you. She could sing that she goes shy or she enjoys being around him, why on earth is she singing about changing her looks and doing anything he wants? Does that also imply that girls should be pressured into being sexually active before they are ready, simply because a boy they like wants them to?

You may think I am reading too much into this and there are probably much worse suggestive lyrics out there that I just haven’t come across but for me, women have come so far in the world with their rights to work, vote, be equal and to hold their own in a male-dominated world, yet here is a young girl singing about it being ok to change yourself for one. It just doesn’t sit right and I truly thought that we were moving forward with what we were teaching youngsters about respecting one another and accepting others for who they are.

In the US, studies of teens relationships have been documented much longer than here in the UK. Their findings show that: 

  1. Roughly 1.5 million high school boys and girls in the U.S. admit to being intentionally hit or physically harmed in the last year by someone they are romantically involved with.
  2. Teens who suffer dating abuse are subject to long-term consequences like alcoholism, eating disorders, promiscuity, thoughts of suicide, and violent behavior.
  3. 1 in 3 young people will be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship.
  4. 33% of adolescents in America are victim to sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional dating abuse.

If songs like these continue to portray the idea that changing yourself for a man is perfectly normal we will be adding to these statistics. 

Alma, you don’t need to go blonde for anyone, you don’t need to change the way you look or think and you certainly don’t need to lose your identity just because you are with a bloke. Please stop telling other girls this.

Can we bring back ‘Girl Power’ now?!

 

Em xx

 

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