Friday, January 23, 2009

Stupid Girls

"American women today are a bundle of contradictions because much of the media imagery we grew up with was itself filled with mixed messages about what women should and should not do, what women could and could not be" (Where the Girls Are, pg. 9.)

After reading the introduction and first chapter of the book and having our discussions in class about the relationship that women have with the media, I thought of Pink's song Stupid Girls. Here's the link to the music video:

First of all, how perfect is it that the video starts out with a young girl watching TV and imitating the women she sees by flipping her hair? Then, an angel and a devil appear on the girl's shoulders, representing a "good" girl and a "bad" girl. When I saw this I thought of the discussion about the myth of individualism and personal choice; the shoulder angels representing that the young girl only has two extreme choices; she can be "good" or "bad," stupid or smart, pretty or ugly. Obviously that isn't true.

Another theme of the song is the competition that girls have with each other, like we talked about today in class. At one point in the video, Pink is at the bowling alley with a guy and notices that he's watching a girl in the next lane with a super short skirt and her cleavage hanging Pink pulls this little string under her arm and her bra inflates to a ridiculous size, and her date starts talking to her again.

The question still is why does the media portray girls as having to act certain ways and do and say certian things and use their looks and bodies to get noticed? Like the song says, "maybe if I act like that, that guy will call me back..." no wonder the little girl at the beginning and many women in society are confused about all the contradictory messages constantly being thrown at us. I think Pink's video is funny because of the truths it shows, with a little exaggeration.


  1. Pink what a good example! I have a love hate relationship with her. She sings mediocore over played pop songs with really good messages. Listening to the lyrics of stupid girls that makes fun of the confusion that society has. And how rediculas it really is. Now we need more celebrities or icons to convey these messages. This hard core punk that portrays the image "I do what I want" is a good start. Please Britney and Paris shape up :)

  2. I hadn't seen this video, very appropriate though. It seems that following what we see or perceive to be popular or trendy is something we have a tough time blocking. In Douglas' generation the challenge was not to be affected by the depictions of femininity on TV (i.e. rescue me, frilly dress, stay at home and have kids) and when the mores of her parents' generation proved invalid, the pressure to cobble together her own.
    My daughters are under strong pressure to look and be cute 24/7, and Hannah Montana doesn't help. While that show is on, there's commercials for untold numbers of toys and products, every five minutes it seems. For girls that are "way too old to watch such nonsense" says my 14yo, the pressure comes from the senior and junior girls in High School, that in their own way set trends and ridicule or sanctify the lemming-like masses.
    For others it can be immense pressure to land a cute, tall handsome bf, with perfect parents and perfect credentials. Or to get married, or to have a kid. Or to have a house other than in the sticks, wayyy out there.
    The part of the lyrics that I like best:
    "Where, oh where, have the smart people gone?
    Oh where, oh where could they be?"

  3. As sad as it is...I think the reason we are portrated that way is because there is some truth to that. Sex does sell. Maybe it is the media's fault for making it true, but nothing is going to stop until we stop giving into it.