Posted by: ambermyhand | April 2, 2015

Stupid Girls

This video is of Pink’s song Stupid Girls. I think it is super interesting because I don’t remember there being a lot of controversy surrounding this song or video when it came out.  If this video had come out today I think everyone would probably have a conniption. In the video Pink makes it clear that she thinks learning basic etiquette, shopping, tanning and owning small dogs are all “stupid”. I think it is interesting to consider whether or not Pink is mocking the ideals and effects of media on women today r if she legitimately feels as if women who follow the media expectations (regardless of their leadership) are stupid and are less than women who  are “outcasts” or don’t follow gendered expectations. In the video, she says, “What happened to the dreams of a girl president? She’s dancing in the video next to 50 Cent”, which implies women today have lost our drive to be presidents or take up those high senior level positions. Pink also states,

“Disease’s growing, it’s epidemic
I’m scared that there ain’t a cure
The world believes it and I’m going crazy
I cannot take any more
I’m so glad that I’ll never fit in
That will never be me
Outcasts and girls with ambition
That’s what I wanna see!”

I think this verse of the song is very revealing. It makes it sound like the only way women can be leaders is by not following gender norms whatsoever, or that you can’t be an ambitious woman who also happens to like dressing up and shopping and looking nice. There are little chunks of feminism in the lyrics encouraging women to be ambitious and run for president but there are also a lot of really negative judgmental aspects of the lyrics and the video. It demonizes women who get plastic surgery, it mocks women who suffer from eating disorders, and even in the end of the video where the little girl had the choice between girls dolls and a football and masculine toys she goes and decides to play football outside. I think it is great that the girl is portrayed as being able to use boys toys but it seems like she shouldn’t play with girls toys and that she had to steer clear of her femininity altogether. Do you think the satirical nature Pink was going for with this video was successful in getting her message across or do you think it ended up being simply offensive? Do you agree with the “message” of the video that women need to be outcast in order to have ambition and be women leaders that are smart and capable? Is it in fact possible to be an effective female leader and still own a small dog and get plastic surgery on occasion?

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Responses

  1. As with all forms of art I think this has a little bit of satire in it. I do not think Pink is stating that girls who like to be feminine are actually intellectually incompetent, but instead, girls who try to fit into that stereotype society has pressured us to mold to are “stupid” for thinking that they can’t be authentically themselves. The parts that sound negative are clearly exaggerated to make a point. People don’t notice the subtle things. Someone has to make a grand statement for people to think it is even outside the norm (this can relate to the inattentional blindness phenomenon discussed in class). I think Pink’s biggest message was just to feel free to be your best authentic self. Yes, eating disorders and body dysmorphic disorder are severe things, but that’s not her concern in this song. She’s talking about girls who do it to fit in, not necessarily those who have a disorder. This is also released in 2006, almost a decade ago, when these issues were still taboo to talk about and didn’t have the political weight that it does now. Pink is also the type of celebrity who does what she wants and won’t care of the consequences. That is a quality necessary in a leader and I applaud her in being authentic in a time where it was frowned upon to be different.

  2. This was a really interesting and definitely different way to get her point across. I think that Pink was successful in making a satire out of the pressures that women face to have better bodies and get noticed by men. She did it in a way that makes you laugh and think “why do we do this to ourselves, who cares?”, but at the same time, her portrayal of those with bulimic disorders was slightly offensive. It is known that they have a psychiatric disorders and that it is not their fault. Relating it back to leadership and ambition, I do believe that to be ambitious, you have to be a little bit of an outsider. Not in the sense that you arent connected, but that you have to be okay with removing yourself from the rude comments that come your way when people talk about a woman with ambition. We have learned from our take away talks and our readings that ambition is something that women need but that also hurts them when it is something that they show proudly. I believe that things are slowly changing but that this is still an issue. As for the woman with the small dog and plastic surgery,I think that you cant generalize who can be an effective leader. That woman may like a small companion and desire to change her body and that is not for anyone else to have an opinion on. As long as she is qualified and desires to do good for whatever she is involved in, then that should be the extent of our interest.

  3. Watching this video was very interesting and left me with a mix of emotions. To begin, it was nice to see her bringing attention to issues that women face due to media and what it says they need to be like. I thought she was attempting to encourage young girls and women to be authentic and to act in their own way; not like they think they HAVE to act. Through all of this though she shows herself going against the grain, but in order to do this not only does she draw attention to the stereotypes of women, but she is almost putting women down in the process. In Wilson Ch. 4 the topic is that of ambition and some strategies are given in order to help women be ambitious. One of the strategies is mentoring and it stressed the importance for women to have someone to bring them along. In this video it does not seem that Pink is willing to bring others along unless they are as quirky and different as her. Do not get me wrong, I like Pink and her music, but it felt that she disapproved of how other women where acting if it did not mirror herself. Amber asked if it was possible for a woman to be an effective leader if she follows some of the stereotypes presented. From what we have read it seems that women tend to receive backlash if they are too feminine or if they are too masculine. This creates the double bind for women. I think that the most effective leaders are those that are authentic, so if a women is doing what is pleasing to her and it give her self-confidence, then I do not see a reason to put her down for it. If women feel they need to “wear masks” then they are not truly embracing what makes them special and equipped for certain moments.

  4. Pink is definitely not afraid to voice her opinions through her music and is always pushing boundaries, never fitting in with the cookie cutter pop artist mold. In this video, for me, Pink is making fun of women and girls that have fallen into the trend that a girl must behave and look a certain way if they ever want a chance of getting a husband. I think Pink is not saying that you have to be different to become a leader or have ambition but more shining a light on the fact how there is a problem regrading the way women are shown in media, especially in reality shows. This video really reflected what was going on during that time period, with Paris Hilton and other reality TV show stars acting certain way and encouraging other to do the same. I don’t think this was saying that a women can’t be feminine but more that you have to pick your own path and not let anyone else decide for you.

  5. I think Pink portrays her idea in a very edgy way. She definitely voices her opinion differently than the other pop artists of her time. In this video, Pink is satirizing women who have fallen for the social expectation of women, the cookie cutter mold women must act and behave like in order to be “successful and happy” in life.

    I don’t think Pink is telling women they must be a certain way to become a woman leader, but I think she is just portraying the issues our society has implemented upon itself. We’ve reconstructed what a happy and successful life looks like, and we’ve set unrealistic expectations that women trying to live up to.

    I don’t believe this video/song is necessarily telling women they cannot have ambition and be feminine at the same time, but more or less women have to decide how they want to live their life, without the pressure society has created. In laymen terms, think for yourself, be your true authentic self, and choose your own path in life. I don’t think choosing your own path would make you an “outcast”, but rather a smart woman/girl for not acting like celebrities such as Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan (both of which are exemplified in this video….at least I think so).

    Women may want to change their bodies, for whatever reason, or desire to have a cute little dog, but as long as they are qualified and have the credentials for the job, that should be as far as we, society, and social media “care”. Let them live their lives they way they desire to,

    Also, I do not like the snip-it of bulimia in the video. Women struggle with that more than we think they do. And it all traces back to the unrealistic expectations our society and social media have implemented on women.

  6. I commend Pink for trying to get the message out that it is okay to not to align with gender norms. However, I so think the satirical nature of this song and video is a little over the top. In my opinion, it seems like Pink is degrading women who do fall into typical gender norms. I mean the title of the song says it all. I don’t agree with the message that women need to be an outcast in order to have ambition but I do think that Pink does a good job at letting women know it’s okay not to conform to society’s norms. Overall, I think this video had great potential in being a driving force toward changing society’s views about how women are supposed to act, but unfortunately it missed the mark. Its over the top satire ended up demeaning women who do/want to fit into the stereotypical women role. Finally, I think that all women can be effective leaders. It does not matter on their looks or whether or not they appeal to their gender norm. Ambition is not measured by environmental responses; it is measured by an individual’s personal drive.

  7. I think that Pink may have had good intentions but that she took it way too far. Often celebrities will make controversial statements in their lyrics or art because it gives them greater media attention or gives it that scandalous flair. It is ironic that many of us did not even pick up on this song’s message nor did it gain the popularity that so many of her songs do. I think that feminism and women’s rights should not be about making women into masculine figures or arguing they need to be like men to succeed. This makes it even more gender-ed and even more dehumanizing to women. Instead, feminism is all about the CHOICE. Women can make any choice about their gender and how they express it and the media should not get in their way or make any person feel less of a man or woman.

  8. I never really thought of the meaning of this song as negative until reading this post. Before this class, I always thought this song was empowering to women, but now I realize that it degrades femininity and insults women who choose to hold true to gender stereotypes. I don’t think it’s fair to portray feminine women as “stupid” or insist that they can’t be ambitious and feminine at the same time. I think this song reinforces the belief that women have to make themselves more masculine in order to be taken seriously. Women need to have female role models that are feminine to realize that they don’t need to throw away their gender identity in order to be successful. I think that, in the coming generations, it will be easier for female leaders to embrace their femininity and maintain their power and authority in society.

  9. I remember watching this video when I was younger and not fully grasping what was being said. P!nk has always been a bit rebellious when it comes to her music and not wanting to fit the typically feminine stereotypes, so I think this was just another satirical song that she made. While I agree with her idea that women shouldn’t feel pressured to act within their stereotypes, I think it could be taken as offensive to women who do like to do typically feminine things. I don’t think it was meant as offensive, but I can see how it came across that way.

  10. Pink! Is well known for making statements, through music, that demonize the status quo and often for presenting alternative information in an extreme and in your face way. The point of the song “Stupid Girls” and its music video is to compel people to listen and to force introspection on the part of the listener. She would not have been able to accomplish this with indecisive sentiments that supported both conformists and feminist rebels. By creating a controversial song, Pink! Generated interest that increased her sales and allowed a greater number of people to hear her music. She could have come anywhere close to the success she received with “Stupid Girls,” if she had attempted to write a song saying, “Hey-it’s okay to buy into societal expectations about gender, but it’s also important for women to challenge the status quo.” Moreover, it is also far less catchy. Thus, though the song may be somewhat offensive, it presents an important message in a way that captures attention and accomplishes a purpose.
    I don’t think that women need to be outcasts to be ambitious or to be effective leaders. In fact, I think that being a societal outcast would hinder an individual’s ability to lead and would temper ambition, because contacts and likability have become so fundamental to success within American society. Feminism is not about demonizing the lifestyle of women. Rather it is to empower all members of society, male or female, to make their own choices and act in ways that makes them the happiest. If this means that a woman wants to have plastic surgery, go shopping or keep small dogs in purses, then she should be able to do that. And, if a woman wants to play sports, become a mercenary, excel in business, or refrain from or delay having a family in favor of career success, then that should be okay too. Likewise, men should be able to be act in a traditionally masculine manner, or be able to stay at home with children, shop, or carry tiny dogs in purses.

  11. I think this video highlights a problem that women leaders face; we aren’t all on the same side. Women who do follow feminine stereotypes because they want to are judged by others just like how women who don’t follow the stereotype are judged. I think Pink did not intend to insult or make any woman feel less than but she did bring to light an issue for women leaders. Women reporters report about what women senators are wearing and how cute their kids are. Women at award shows are asking other women about if they are brig home guys or not. Women are not giving a helping hand to other women who need help getting up the corporate ladder. It’s hard to advance as women leaders when our best allies are not fighting on the same side. Regardless if we are different or not, we should be fighting on the same side. This video raised the question for me what would it look like if women were all on the same side? What if female reporters reported amazing accomplishments that women made? what if women at awards got asked what philanthropies they were involved in? Would we be closer to closing the wage gap if we were all helping each other? Pink makes a point that society pressures girls to act and look a certain way and that influences their decisions on ambition and life. However, a girl who is an ‘outcast’ who plays sports and a girl who wears Lilly can both have the goal of being CEOs and they can help each other achieve those goals.

  12. Wow! Throw back! Haha! I do remember when this song came out! There wasn’t a lot of controversy around it if I remember correctly but like you mentioned if this video came out today there would be a social media uproar! I don’t think that Pink did a great job with this video but I have to say that personally I find it much more impressive than the ‘feminist’ videos that are produced today. An example of that would be Meg Trainor’s recent video that has been causing so much buzz. However what I did really like was I think that Pink did an amazing job at showing that these women who fall into these stereotypes are doing it because they feel pressured to and that it doesn’t have to be that way. I think she was attempting to show the amount of pressure that the media put on women from very young ages to act a certain way and to look a certain way. But I interpreted her satirical play on stereotypes as a way to raise awareness. If we can show how much pressure we are really putting on these young women then maybe society will some day be able to fix itself. I know that is overly idealistically but I think Pink is on to something with this video!

  13. I have always enjoyed this song and music video but have never taught about it in the terms you describe. I admire your different and fresh perspective on this video. I think to some extent that you are right to question Pink’s music video. It does seem to be shaming girls who want or enjoy being feminine but i also have to say that a music video, especially a satirical one, should never be taken too seriously. With that said I can see both side of the argument. The line about outcast and girls with ambition, I do have to question. I mean is a girl with ambition an outcast? Are the one in the same? Do women have to leave all femininity behind to be successful? I don’t think so and based on the video I would say that Pink would disagree with that as well. The female president shown in the video may appear “masculine” but when looked closely at she had retained feminine qualities such as earring, eye make-up, long finger nails, rings, and curled hair. I think the point of Pinks video is that “stupid” girls are the one that are not self-reliant, judgement of themselves and others, and have no substances.

  14. This song is really interesting for so many reasons. I think she is not condoning these decisions, but rather bringing to light many of the issues present in society today. I think the most pertinent part of the video is the part in the bathroom regarding how women believe they must treat their bodies. This is an important reflection of society today and how women aren’t accepting of their bodies and want to transform into something they aren’t. I think if anything, that is what she is commenting on (also with the tanning and the surgical aspects).

    I love Pink and think she is a wonderful artist and is a real advocate for women’s rights and standing up for what she believes in, but this does slightly feel like an attack on women and not advocating for all women. As a leader in society and in the music industry, it is an obligation of hers to stand up for what she believes in and I’m not sure that this music video is reflecting that.

  15. I think this song makes sense in the mind of Pink because she seems to be much of an outcast herself. I am all about going against the grain for what you believe in, but I don’t think girls should be forced out of what they believe in just because it may happen to fit into the feminine stereotypes. I know many female leaders who are both wholly feminine and wholly authoritative leaders. It does not have to be one or the other.
    The fact of the matter is that some will judge you for getting plastic surgery and others will judge you for not wearing heels…not everyone will be pleased by your views or appearance so it seems best to gravitate towards your natural inclinations and not worry too much about which group you will identify with.

  16. I remember when this song first came out actually and I really liked it, but I didn’t remember any backlash either weirdly enough. I think that in today’s society, music artists use more extreme messages and visual images to catch the public’s attention since the competition in the music industry is so heavy. Thus, I think Pink’s message generally is to stop trying to be the perfect, feminine woman to please men and just be authentically you, but she used a more intense and scandalous way to push this message into the world to get people’s attention. It’s only a three minute song and video, which also has to be ‘catchy,’ so to perfect explain what she’s trying to convey would be difficult to fit into a song perhaps? If one really thinks about it, the popular songs that reflect some sense of women empowerment or are related to the issue of gender criticism have had some more risky message or visual to get the masses attention, and it has worked. We’re talking about this right now, and the video has millions of views.
    On the other hand, I do understand that this video exemplifies that women who go get spray tans, small dogs, and plastic surgery are “stupid girls” and the way to avoid being “stupid” is to avoid all feminism and to grab the football, metaphorically speaking. I disagree with that message, as I’m probably considered more feminine and I have gotten spray tans and did have a small dog, but I don’t think I should be depicted as stupid or unable to lead. I think that this perception of women having to be the right amount of “beautiful” and not overly focus on appearance is restricting women to express themselves how they desire. If that means women who wear makeup are on the inside bubble of society, great, but that doesn’t mean women who don’t wear makeup are outcasts and the only ones with ambition. Ambition is subjective, and can mean different things for different women. We shouldn’t limit a woman’s passions or appearance as no ambition just because she fits into the approval of society’s liking, even though I’m not sure that there’s a standard approval of a certain type of woman that even exists. We’re all just people who are trying to find our little niche in this world, why put down those who experience that a little differently?


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