headphonegrrl plugged in: Girl Crush

I’ve written this post a few different ways but was never really comfortable with it… Until a dear friend of mine brought up how her daughter was internalizing messages about females from popular songs. Her daughter said that in the song, the singer was saying how much she needed her love interest. My friend immediately corrected her and told her that she and her husband wanted their union but they most certainly did not need each other. Given that, below is the version of the post I like the most.

What is it about music that makes it have such a power over us? We can feel betrayed, angry, vindicated, stronger, and changed in a span of four minutes. Or maybe elated and inspired to tears. Perhaps even feel immense love simply by the power of song. But why?

In my humble opinion, I think it’s because it’s part of who we are at our very core. I see music not only as a gift but as a part of us that has always been. It’s like an itty bitty part of the universe tucked inside our DNA that blossoms when it’s exposed to humans feeling great emotion, and music is its way of showing itself through our natural born talents.

This is why I see music as something sacred,

my personal sanctuary.

So I can’t help but feel that it’s being tarnished when a song like Girl Crush comes out. Since I’m an active member of the lyric police I found out fairly quickly that I didn’t like the message of this song. But what really irks me is that I love the composition and melody! I can’t help but sing along.

However, I vividly remember not that long ago that I also really liked what the Weeknd was producing. Partly because of the musical genius behind it, but mostly because it reinforced my preferred method of self-medicating to compensate for the shitty life situation I was in. Well, some of it. He’s into some pretty heavy stuff…

Artists have a power because of the impact their music can have on people. The downside to this is that a song can reinforce an internal insecurity of a person and ultimately perpetuate it. So along those lines, let’s examine this song, shall we?

GIRL CRUSH

I got a girl crush
Hate to admit it but,
I got a hard rush
It’s slowing down
I got it real bad
Want everything she has
That smile and that midnight laugh
She’s giving you now

The song’s instrumental is solid and draws you in nicely. The melody is simple, appropriately somber, and the vocals are crisp and stripped down. All that, for me, makes for the beginnings of a good song. And the first few lyrics aren’t bad. I initially thought it might be a song about a lesbian outing herself and was about to give HUGE props to the country music world, but that didn’t last long…

I want to taste her lips
Yeah, ’cause they taste like you
I want to drown myself
In a bottle of her perfume
I want her long blonde hair
I want her magic touch
Yeah, ’cause maybe then
You’d want me just as much
I got a girl crush
I got a girl crush
 

Anyone else a little disturbed? Just a bit uncomfortable? Songs about jealousy are nothing new and to be expected. Love, hate, jealously, happiness, feelings of all kind are sung about. Even insanity! But this song is the type of insane that makes you wonder if you should call for help for this poor, twisted girl. Drown herself in her perfume?

…it’s a bit much.

This isn’t jealousy, it’s obsessive insanity.

We’ve seen how that story ends. We really don’t need songs about it. Unfortunately, it’s not done yet…

I don’t get no sleep
I don’t get no peace
Thinking about her
Under your bed sheets
The way that she’s whispering
The way that she’s pulling you in
Lord knows I’ve tried,
I can’t get her off my mind

Besides the fact that it’s jealously to the degree of insanity for one girl to think this way about her ex’s current girlfriend, it’s also just plain sad. I pity this girl. She clearly has no self-esteem if she’s pinning over her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend and totally straight. She wants to be like the new girlfriend so badly that it’s keeping her up at nights. All so the dude who dumped her will want her again.

Dear goodness that’s pathetic!

What an awful place to be in. This song is depressing. And I feel it’s a violation of the blessing that is music because I don’t think we should be putting this out there as something we need to reinforce. This is the type of crazy shit you write in private, on paper , which you intend to burn immediately after you’re done writing it. Then you pick yourself up and keep moving on.

This song is the exact opposite of self-love.

Country music has enough issues when it comes to women. The last thing female country fans need is more songs about wishing they were something else. I was really happy when Girl In A Country Song came out.

We need more songs like that.

Look, I’m not against looking damn hot and feeling myself in doing so. We can’t and shouldn’t completely irradiate all lyrics relating to physical beauty. We are physical beings after all! However, I don’t think the degree of saturation our songs have containing that superficial image is an accurate representation of women today. Nor is the crazy, jealous type. That’s few and far between and has no business being so representative as to take up an entire song and a damn good melody.

Why musics gods, WHY?!

I’m not against expression of feelings, or even concentrating on jealousy. Every emotion can be and should be expressed in the way one sees most fit for oneself. I even support the crazy in Girl Crush, I only wish they’d taken it full circle and had some self-love in the bridge and an altered chorus to end on a more positive note. Or how about just a song about jealousy that isn’t so damn self-loathing. For example:

If you’re still with me, dear reader, I love you. This could have very well droned on about how the image of women in media and society is damaged enough but I shall not (but if you feel the need please do rant in the comments section, rant on to your hearts content). I trust you get the picture.

So what do we do?

I know there are artists out there who consistently push out positive messages in every song they produce. We can only support those we believe in in the hopes that their songs will be blasted louder than all the rest. So turn up the volume and tune out the haters and

SING ON!

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