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Meaning of the song ‘girls’ by ‘girl in red’

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Released: 2018

“Girls” by girl in red is a heartfelt and deeply personal confession of attraction towards women, intermixed with the feelings of confusion, anxiety, and desire that are beautifully portrayed through the lyrics. The song is a courageous statement of self-discovery and acceptance, set within a complex cultural climate.

Opening with the lines, “I’ve been hiding for so long / These feelings, they’re not gone / Could I tell anyone?” the singer conveys the difficulties of coming to terms with one’s own identity, especially when that identity defies societal norms. The fear of judgement (“Afraid of what they’ll say”) leads to the suppression of these feelings, which, as the lyrics imply, only make the act of hiding more strenuous (“So I push them away / I’m acting so strange”).

The iconic chorus, “They’re so pretty, it hurts / I’m not talking ’bout boys / I’m talking ’bout girls / They’re so pretty with their button-up shirts,” is a groundbreaking shift from the standard pop romance narrative. girl in red takes the familiar yearning found in pop love songs and redirects it, celebrating her love for women – captured in the minute detail such as their “button-up shirts”.

Segueing into the next verse, girl in red continues to explore her attraction, juxtaposing it with societal expectations. Here, “I should be into this guy” signifies the pressure to conform to heteronormativity, while “But it’s just a waste of time / He’s really not my type / I know what I like” emphasizes her self-awareness and refusal to deny her feelings.

The bridge of the song, “‘Cause I don’t know what to do / It’s not like I get to choose / Who I love,” clearly expresses the involuntary nature of one’s feelings, championing a message that countless others in similar situations may identify with. The repeated chorus further reinforces her assertions and provides a bold statement of acceptance.

Through “Girls”, girl in red creates a vibrant, authentic representation of queer love, leading to a broader conversation about identity, acceptance, and queerness in the pop music sphere, that was not commonplace before. By explicitly voicing her desires, the artist invites others to celebrate their individuality and break free from societal constraints. It’s pop music doing what it does best – pulling the personal and universal into one killer track.

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