Home > gender, music, pop culture, society, women > Pop Culture Hit: Lily Allen’s “22”

Pop Culture Hit: Lily Allen’s “22”

Well, not to plug anything, but Lily Allen has a new single called “22“. When I first heard it, I quite enjoyed it (and I admit, I still do). It’s a catchy song and I found myself immediately connected to it because of the fact that I am…22!

However, upon listening to it more, something made me uneasy. The song is about a woman who is nearly 30. She’s still going out a lot, has a decent job, but not a “career”, and has one night stands, but really just wants a boyfriend. The chorus then chimes in with these words:

It’s sad but it’s true how society says
Her life is already over
There’s nothing to do and there’s nothing to say
Til the man of her dreams comes along picks her up and puts her over his shoulder
It seems so unlikely in this day and age

When I first realized what was being sang, I was hoping that Allen was singing this in an attempt to mock society because of this notion…but after listening many times, I don’t get that vibe. I get the vibe that this song is actually saying that a woman’s life is over after her early 20s, until a man comes in a sweeps her off her feet!

What the heck is with that? This is just another example of our society valuing a woman’s youthfulness and when that’s over, life is over. That is, if you don’t have a boyfriend/fiancee/husband/kids. It seems as though a woman’s life is always defined by others. It is never ourselves that are able to stand alone, and be the definition of ourselves.

The premise of this song just worries me because Allen has many female fans, who can be very influenced by her. This song is solidifying the idea that a woman needs a man to have a fulfilling life. And by the way, I don’t think a man needs a woman to have a fulfilling life either…it goes both ways.

I personally know many older women (and by older, I mean in their 60s+) who have had amazing lives and have not been married or had children. They had the opportunities to do what they wanted, go for their own dreams and pursue their passions. I admire these women because they didn’t give into society’s confining norms. They are amazing role models! It is just so sad how this message is getting out to young girls and teenagers.

And I for one, at 22, hope that my life will not be over by my late 20s. It’s easy to give into that thought. I have before, but I’m refusing to do so now. There is too much living to be done for the many decades to come to even consider this notion!

I hope that I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Advertisements
  1. September 9, 2009 at 6:47 am

    Interesting post. I got the same impression as you when I listened to the song lyric’s several times. I understand that Lily Allen uses satire in her songs and this is demonstrated well in ‘Fear’ but I felt the same way about her song as you did especially when she was talking about wanting a boyfriend and all she could get what one night stands. What the heck was that all about??? You might find my opinion piece interesting – http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/the-ugly-truth-about-pop-culture/

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: