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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Most Girls by Hailee Steinfeld is just as Weird as Rock Bottom. But it is Even More Thought Provoking.

About this time last year, I pointed out how weird the lyrics to Rock Bottom, Hailee Steinfeld's then-charting hit, was. One year on, I still think that being on the 'right side of Rock Bottom' but hoping that 'we keep falling' makes no sense at all.

This time, Hailee's latest hit is just as weird. But it seems to make some sense too, surprisingly.

From what I can hear (correct me if I'm wrong), Hailee says that 'most girls are smart and strong and beautiful', but then she says that 'I don't want to be like most girls'. Taken together, it could mean something like those girls out there are actually quite good, but I am so much better than them. I hope that's not what she meant. On the other hand, it could also mean that those girls out there are smart and strong and beautiful, but I don't want to be any of these things. Which doesn't make sense. Or maybe we should separate the two statements: the first being a celebration of women in general, the second being a celebration of individuality. I personally think that the last interpretation is correct, although some of my friends disagree.

Hailee also says that 'some days you feel so good in your own skin', but then 'it's OK if you want to change the body that you came in'. Now, this is a bit surprising. Most of mainstream pop culture in the past 20 years or so at least pay lip service to the idea that one should always be proud of their body, no matter what. In contrast, Hailee is being quite equivocal here. I guess she's just being realistic, but one of my friends was worried that she might (inadvertantly) encourage poor body image with this lyric. On the other hand, another friend of mine pointed out that it may be a nod to the experiences of trans people, something I had not considered at first but appears to make sense.

All in all, a very thought provoking hit. What do you people think?