Olivia Rodrigo
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Meaning of ‘jealousy, jealousy’ by ‘Olivia Rodrigo’

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Released: 2021

In “Jealousy, Jealousy,” Olivia Rodrigo lays bare the inner turmoil of someone grappling with self-esteem and comparison. It’s a social media angst anthem, addressing the toxic culture of online envy and the pressure to live up to the flawless images we see on our screens.

The song kicks off with her wanting to “throw my phone across the room,” signifying the intense frustration fuelled by endless scrolling through images of “girls too good to be true.” These are the people who appear to be living perfect lives on social media, complete with “paper-white teeth and perfect bodies.” This leads her to wish she didn’t care, but the burden of comparison weighs heavy on her, causing inward conflict and negativity.

Then comes the hard-hitting hook: “Co-comparison is killing me slowly.” It’s a strong indictment of the torment caused by constantly measuring oneself against others. She’s “so sick” of herself, fueled by the idea that others are more desirable or successful, and wishes to be “anyone else.” Her “jealousy, jealousy” has begun to consume her.

As the song progresses, Rodrigo mentions “everyone getting all the things I want,” like “cool vintage clothes and vacation photos,” further emphasizing the envy stoked by social media. And even though she knows that “their win is not my loss,” the struggle to make peace with that fact is real.

“All your friends are so cool, you go out every night/In your daddy’s nice car, yeah, you’re living the life” – these lines reveal a craving for not just material things, but an entire lifestyle that she perceives as superior to her own. The lyric “I wanna be you so bad, and I don’t even know you” hits home, showcasing how deep the desire for another’s life can go, even if they’re a stranger.

Finally, she repeats “I’d rather be, rather be/Anyone, anyone else,” underscoring the song’s overarching theme of envy and self-dissatisfaction. “Jealousy, jealousy” indeed, has “Started following” her, mirroring the social media lingo of “following” but here with a darker connotation.

In all, “Jealousy, Jealousy” is a raw exploration of the negative effects of social media and constant comparison. It’s Olivia Rodrigo’s wake-up call for us to rethink our online behavior and remind ourselves that what we see on social media isn’t always the full truth.

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