Lately I’ve noticed several popular songs that seem directed at girls with low self-esteem. They typically feature young male singers crooning about liking regular girls who don’t have high opinions of themselves.
Boy band One Direction is the master of this trend. Two of their hit singles appeal to insecure young girls, likely their biggest fan base.
Take their song “What Makes You Beautiful.” Seriously, just take it.
Don’t know what for,
You’re turning heads when you walk through the door,
Don’t need make-up,
To cover up,
Being the way that you are is enough.”
Please. These guys are dating starlets not plain Janes. But they’re selling an image that they understand their teenage-girl fans and are approachable.
How about one more line from the song?
“But when you smile at the ground it ain’t hard to tell,
You don’t know, oh oh,
You don’t know you’re beautiful,
If only you saw what I can see,
You’ll understand why I want you so desperately.”
Yes, girls, the boys of One Direction can see what no other boy’s your age can see, that you’re the greatest. Now buy the record and daydream about them.
Their latest single, “Little Things,” offers some similar sentiments.
“You never want
To know how much you weigh
You still love to squeeze into your jeans
But you’re perfect to me.”
But One Direction isn’t the only one playing this game of marketing to low self-esteem girls. So is Ne-Yo. In his latest song, “Let Me Love You,” he hits the same key messages.
“Girl let me love you,
And I will love you,
Until you learn to love yourself.”
Thanks, Ne-Yo, you’re a swell guy.
I’m not sure when this trend started. But the New York Times newsroom likes to say that three instances make a trend, so there you go.
Maybe Katy Perry started it with “Teenage Dream.”
“You think I’m pretty
Without any makeup on,
You think I’m funny
When I tell the punch line wrong,
I know you get me,
So I let my walls come down, down.”
Photo: One Direction from Fabulous.