Monday, January 31, 2011
Shining Stars of Davida: Pink
The first time I heard a Pink song was in a Foot Locker a really long time ago, when the video for “U + Ur Hand” was playing. I had never heard of Pink before, but I really loved the song. After I heard “Don’t Let Me Get Me” on the radio a while later, I finally begged, borrowed, and stole all of her albums. While I wasn’t an official feminist when I first fell in love with Pink, I appreciated the girl-power in her songs. Now that I am a feminist, I very much enjoy the feminist-leanings Pink displays in her music.
I’m not familiar with her first album, Can’t Take Me Home, but her second album Missundaztood has a few songs that encourage girls to be proud of their femaleness. “Respect” is all about wanting some respect from guys, saying to “back up boy, I ain’t your toy / or your piece of a*s.” “Numb” talks about getting rid of an abusive boyfriend. Her third album, Try This, also has its share of girl-power. “Last to Know” mourns a guy who wouldn’t call her back because “after the date, I wouldn’t go home with you…you tried to get me to do things I just won’t do.”
I’m Not Dead, my personal favorite album, has the feminist favorites “Stupid Girls” and “U + Ur Hand”. “Stupid Girls” mourns the fact that society has bred so many girls whose only values in life are shopping, staying thin, and having a boyfriend, rather than trying to change the world: “what happened to the dream of a girl president? / she’s dancing in the video next to 50 Cent.” The video excellently depicts the kind of girls that the song disdains. “U + Ur Hand” is telling a guy that “I’m not here for your entertainment…it’s just you and your hand tonight.” This is my personal favorite video.
Her most recent full album, Funhouse, also has strong feminist songs. “So What” is a declaration of not letting exes mess up your life and getting past breakups. In “Bad Influence,” she plays with our preconceived notions of professionals' gender when she says, “I’m off to see the doctor / I hope she has a cure.”
She recently released Greatest Hits…So Far!, a compilation of her singles that made me feel extremely old. Two new songs are featured on the album, “Raise Your Glass” and “F**kin’ Perfect.” “Raise Your Glass” is telling people to “raise your glass if you are wrong / in all the right ways.” The video begins with a healthy-sized girl knocking over cardboard cutouts of too-thin girls, followed by Pink dressed as Rosie the Riveter. A later scene shows blindfolded women being milked for a calf by masked men, which I assume is a metaphor that men are treating women like breeding cows in today’s society.
“F**kin’ Perfect” is a truly beautiful song, with Pink asking “pretty, pretty please / don’t you ever, ever feel / like your less than f**kin’ perfect.” The video shows a story of a girl who didn’t fit in since she was little, despite her efforts otherwise. After she is caught trying to steal a prom dress in front of girls she knows, she cuts the word perfect into her arm. (NOTE: THE CUTTING SCENE IN THE MUSIC VIDEO IS EXTREMELY GRAPHIC.) Afterwards, she stops trying to fit in and begins being herself.
I dub Pink into the Shining Stars of Davida - strong women and men who make feminists proud.