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Meaning of the song ‘Like a Girl’ by ‘Lizzo’

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Released: 2019

“Like a Girl” by Lizzo busts open the doors with a beautiful defiance of societal norms and gender stereotypes. She delivers an anthem for female empowerment, expressing independence and the ability to accomplish anything “like a girl.”

The song commences with Lizzo contemplating a run for presidency, stating she would bring change with “a little estrogen.” These lines flip the script on a society often governed by masculine politics. She tosses out societal expectations of needing a man for validation or financial support, with lines such as “I don’t really need you, I’m Macaulay Culkin, home alone” and “Buy my whip by myself, pay my rent by myself.” Beyond her cheeky Home Alone reference, these are firm declarations of self-reliance and financial independence.

She then transitions into the chorus, using the phrase “like a girl” as a positive phrase. The idea here is that she owns her femininity and uses it as her strength – hence “I work my femininity, I make these boys get on their knees.” The repeated line of “like a girl” directly challenges the common derogatory usage of the phrase, turning it into an advantage, a strength, and something to be proud of.

The following lines, referencing famous women such as Chaka Khan, Lauryn Hill, and Serena Williams, further signify the power, resilience, and accomplishment of women. These shout-outs to iconic women firmly root her song in a long history of women’s achievements, suggesting that to do something “like a girl” is to strive for greatness, success, and respect.

The song then takes a strong final turn endorsing all expressions of femininity – whether you “fight like a girl,” “cry like a girl,” emphasizing that authenticity (if you “feel like a girl then you real like a girl”) is the key to harnessing your power and “run the whole damn world”. The closing lines are a fitting summary of the song’s empowering message: gender nor societal expectations should not limit or define capabilities. We’re left with an empowering image of Lizzo confidently throwing money and running her city “like a girl.”

So in its entirety, “Like a Girl” is a powerful anthem that shatters societal perspectives on what it is to be female, and boldly asserts that doing things ‘like a girl’ can – and does – mean being strong, independent, and completely in control.

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