Posted on Friday, October 3, 2014 in Uncategorized
I spent hours this week listening to and reading the lyrics of the current Billboard Hot 100. Musicians are often viewed as spokespersons of their generation.
For the cynics among us, it’s not all bad news.
At TreeHouse every week we remind our teens that “you’re not alone” because so many people – young and old – feel like they are the only one dealing with those feelings and thoughts. So it’s good news that two of the most popular songs have self-affirming messages.
Meghan Trainor “All About That Bass”
The number one song in the country is about body image and self-acceptance.
“I see the magazine workin’ that Photoshop
We know that sh– ain’t real
C’mon now, make it stop
If you got beauty beauty, just raise ’em up
‘Cause every inch of you is perfect
From the bottom to the top”
I love that Trainor proudly proclaims a mostly-positive body-image message in “All About That Bass.” Her song challenges listeners to accept the body they have rather than wishing they had a different one.
Admittedly, it’s mostly positive because her message it’s a mixed message. Unfortunately, the shortcoming is that she proclaims sexy is the measure – regardless of your size – rather than peace with your body big or small. The compound the error, she angrily – and maybe resentfully – make a derisive comment the pursuit of skinny women.
“You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll
So if that’s what you’re into then go ahead and move along”
That said, for listeners with body image shame it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
Echosmith “Cool Kids”
You feel alone.
You see the crowd around the lunch table. You see the laughing, joking and apparent happiness of the “cool kids.”
“I wish that I could be like the cool kids,
‘Cause all the cool kids, they seem to get it.”
But, truth be told they are just teenagers trying to figure out life.
“They’re driving fast cars
But they don’t know where they’re going
In the fast lane
Living life without knowing”
So, the truth of “Cool Kids” is you’re not so alone. Though the “cool kids” might seem to have it all together, they are just as lost and lonely and uncertain as you are. They just fake it surrounded by the “cool kid” crowd.
It’s a song calling the listeners to self-acceptance finishing with a ironic and sarcastic, “I wish that I could be like the cool kids.”
They aren’t perfect songs, but they are positive steps in a pop culture that so often settles for lies, lust and lifelessness.
Yesterday I pointed out some of the misguided messages. You can catch up here.