Today is International Women’s Day. The perfect day for a song like this: sung by a woman, telling a woman’s story and the history of a girl’s childhood. You can read the lyrics here.
The official video accompanying the song delivers quite drastic pictures and scenes – so drastic that there is obviously a “clean version” circulating especially in the US…
The song is about a woman, her destructive self-image and lack of self-confidence. „You’re so mean, when you talk about yourself, you were wrong… Filled with so much hatred…such a tired game”. This self-hatred often leads to the acts of self-harm and destruction shown in the movie: bulimia, anorexia, cutting and, as a last remedy: suicide. “Mistreated, misplaced, misunderstood“. That’s how these girls and young women feel – and there is often a long history behind these feelings starting in early childhood. The girl in the movie is mobbed in kindergarten – and gets told off when she makes a stand against the bully. Growing older she has to bear her mother’s permanent nagging. As a teenager she engages in a cat fight competing with the other girls about who is the slimmest and most beautiful.
Pink has a message for these girls: “Oh, pretty pretty please, don’t you ever ever feel like you’re less than f**kin’ perfect. Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel like you’re nothing: You’re f**kin’ perfect to me.”
Allegedly she has gone through the same sort of experience: “Made a wrong turn, once or twice. Dug my way out, blood and fire. Bad decisions, that’s alright – welcome to my silly life.“
So, it’s not about doing everything perfectly well or pleasing the critics, because you never will: “Done looking for the critics, cause they’re everywhere
They don’t like my jeans, they don’t get my hair. Exchange ourselves and we do it all the time. Why do we do that? Why do I do that?” Yes, why can’t we just be ourselves?
“It’s enough! I’ve done all I can think of, chased down all my demons”. It is kind of an obsession and many girls won’t cope with it on their own. For some it might be enough to hear: „You are perfect“. Others might be able to discover their talents like the girl in the video who becomes a paintress. Most of them will need a therapy to deal with their anxieties: “The whole world’s scared, so I swallow the fear”. Swallowing the fear won’t do the job – the vicious cycle will continue. The young woman in the video breaks the cycle. The frame story shows her sitting at her daughter’s bed mouthing the words: „You are perfect to me“ – a sentence she had obviously not heard as a child.
This is a very catchy song, although it might not be very challenging in musical terms. The lyric’s message is important, though. Look for your strengths and talents. You have been given life, that’s why you are lovable – and perfect just the way you are! Of course this also applies to the boys. They need encouragement, too – maybe even more in these times when girls and women are getting stronger and more self-confident. What do you think?
But today is International Women’s Day – so here’t to the girls: You are perfect!