The Social Context of Pink’s Song, Stupid Girls

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The things which surround people are the things which would naturally influence them. As what the famous Albert Bandura theorized, there are things which a person is influenced under because he or she is able to feel it, see it, and hear it (cited in Boeree, 2006). Because of the things that a person grows up in, he or she is able to develop his personality, principles, and ambitions. The same way that many have complained that mass media has brought such tremendous impact and effect on humanity as a whole, humanity as a whole has also affected the things around them.

For example, environmentalists complain that it is humanity who should be blamed because of what happened to the environment. In as much as the world influences man, man also influences the world, and this can be observed in Arts and Literature. Art and literature can be regarded as the outlet of humanity. It is through arts and literature that man is able to let his imagination flow and to let his creativity have meaning and voice. One of the famous aspects of arts is music, and with the technologically advancements of the contemporary times, the world of music is given much importance.

The proliferation of music players and the Internet, which gives easier access to much about anything anyone can wish for, serves as a means for the today’s generation to acquaint, embrace, and love music. Listening, singing, and writing songs have become an outlet to people that even the angst of today’s youth can be seen in the lyrics of today’s songs. Songs have become a fundamental form of freedom and expression of people. In fact, songs have become more than a form of expression—it has also the power to bring people together and make them as one.

Political songs are in abundance when it comes to rallies or other gatherings. According to Peterson (2002), “Songs, like poetry, are powerful tools to build consciousness and solidarity” (p. 1). Thus, songs have the capacity to make people realize social issues. When songs open people up to certain aspects or truths which are happening around them, it becomes more than a form of expression or freedom—it becomes their voice amidst the troubled age that the people of today are in.

It is without doubt that there are songs which also aim to prove something through humor—satirizing things which can be considered as either banal or taboo. One of these humorous songs is that of the pop star Pink who co-wrote and sang the song Stupid Girls. The song was released in 2006 and yet, three years later, the lyrics still apply to the same condition that the females are in. In the past, women were fighting for their rights to vote, to go to school, or to work.

Pink is now fighting for women again—that is, that they should stop being the simple-minded or materialistic beings they are conceived to be. In her lyrics, Pink (2006) talks about how women have changed and have become “stupid”: What happened to the dreams of a girl president She’s dancing in the video next to 50 Cent They travel in packs of two or three With their itsy bitsy doggies and their teeny-weeny tees Where, oh where, have the smart people gone? Oh where, oh where could they be? (lines 7-12)

In this stanza, Pink has already formed the conclusion that women have become stupid and have stopped being smart altogether. They have been so wrapped up with their superficialities and selfishness that (in some sense) the essence of womanhood or femininity has been lost altogether. Pink’s purpose and the message behind the words say one thing: Women should open their eyes to what they have become and assert themselves. She is trying to tell women that they have become stupid in the sense that they are allowing the importance of appearances to dictate who they are.

In one of her lines, she sings that even if the world is ending or in turmoil, women would be only concerned about their hair (Pink, 2006, lines 24-28). Pink’s song contains an important social context in it—that women of today’s society have become superficial and they should stop from being so. As what the Social Learning Theory suggests—what younger people see from adults are the exact same things they would emulate (Boeree, 2006). Thus, if younger girls are seeing such characteristics of today’s women (at least according to Pink), then who is preventing them from being “stupid girls” too?

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