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Released: 2022

“Because I Liked a Boy” by Sabrina Carpenter tells the poignant tale of young love fraught with social scrutiny and the weight of judgment. It unfolds the agony and innocence of liking a boy while navigating the harsh reality of being subjected to prejudiced labels and uninvited assumptions.

The lyrics start off with a snapshot of a budding romance, marked by shared moments and mutual interests. It’s a heady blend of youthful spontaneity – expecting ‘Thin Mints’ (a type of Girl Scout Cookie) to providing it with a side of music (a ‘boombox’), to ‘cuddling on trampolines’. Carpenter gives a shout-out to the Black Eyed Peas, highlighting the shared musical tastes that often serve as cornerstones in the architecture of young relationships. They also touch upon the shared experiences of ‘complicated exes’, a commonality that can deepen connections but also precipitate unforeseen problems.

The song then takes a sharp detour into the more pernicious side of young love – judgment and labeling. From having an innocent crush, the protagonist falls prey to harsh, unmerited comments, being called a ‘homewrecker’ and a ‘slut’, and even being threatened. The term ‘my choice’ is echoed repeatedly, underscoring the stripped autonomy of a young woman navigating the labyrinth of societal norms and expectations through her romantic inclinations.

Sabrina Carpenter portrays herself as a victim of ‘categorization’ – placed in a cultural bind and taken to task by her peers for simply following her heart. She shoulders the blame and fallout for a failed relationship – a common phenomenon where women disproportionately bear the brunt of relationship terminations.

In the later verses, Carpenter sheds light on the pain and bewilderment of being characterized as a ‘rebound’, and resents being seen as ‘stealing from the young’. These labels, foisted upon her due to her relationship choices, indicate the steep social cost paid by women who dare to assert their romantic autonomy.

As the song ends, Carpenter contests the absurdity of the entire situation – they had already broken up when ‘everything went down’, making the slander even less justifiable. The repeated line ‘All because I liked-‘ underscores the bitter tang of regret and misunderstanding, a powerful note to end the song on.

In conclusion, Sabrina Carpenter’s “Because I liked a Boy” is more than a heartrending anthem of love gone awry – it’s a crucial commentary on societal expectations and judgment, offering a raw, unvarnished take on the cost of young love in the court of public opinion.

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