I usually go on Facebook to watch funny videos of cats knocking things off tables or baby pandas learning how to go down a slide; you know, that kinda entertaining stuff. But a few weeks ago, a bold video title caught my attention: ”What If I Knew I Was Beautiful…” I thought to myself, “Well this is gonna be interesting” and I clicked on the link to watch. What unfolded before me made my jaw drop open in amazement:
Here’s this woman, breaking down lyrics from songs (performed by men and seemingly sung to women) that appear designed to pat women gently on the head and tell us, “Oh honey, but you are beautiful!” I felt duped. I had to watch the video a couple of times to catch the particular song lyrics that Daysha Edewi chose to present. I realized that I know most, if not all of those songs. I actually really like a couple of them. And how ironic is it that when I heard them prior to watching this video, I did have that feeling of, “OMG, how sweet. Bruno is telling me that he’ll love me just the way I am; yeah, sometimes my self-esteem just sucks.”
But then a light bulb went off and I thought, “Now wait just a minute, I may have my days, but overall, I know I’m beautiful on the inside and out. Who do these guys think they are, trying to tell me something I already know?” How did I miss this?!
Here are the lyrics highlighted in the video:
- “Tap on my window, knock on my door. I want to make you feel beautiful.” Maroon 5, She Will Be Loved
- “You’re insecure; don’t know what for. You’re turning heads when you walk through the door. Don’t need make-up to cover up, being the way that you are in enough.” One Direction, What Makes You Beautiful
- “You fix your make-up, just so. Guess you don’t know that you’re beautiful.” John Legend, You and I
- “Girl let me love you, and I will love you, until you learn to love yourself.” Ne-Yo, Let Me Love You
- ”If your mirror won’t make it any clearer, I’ll be the one to let you know.” John Legend, You and I
- “You don’t know you’re beautiful, oh oh, that’s what makes you beautiful.” One Direction, What Makes You Beautiful
- “She don’t know she’s beautiful, (Never crossed her mind), She don’t know she’s beautiful, (No, she’s not that kind), She don’t know she’s beautiful, Though time and time I’ve told her so.” Sammy Kershaw, She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful
- “Yeah, I know, I know when I compliment her, she won’t believe me. And it’s so, it’s so sad to think that she doesn’t see what I see.” Bruno Mars, The Way You Are
- ”You keep wondering if you’re what I’m wanting.” John Legend, You and I
An even bigger epiphany came to me when I realized that Daysha was right: If women were to respond, “Yes actually, I do know that I’m beautiful,” the reaction from society would be horrendous.
Sure, there are days when I enjoy putting on make-up and enhancing my natural physical features. But sometimes I just want to keep my eyebrows pencil-free, let my lashes breathe, and maybe show a pore or two (or ten) on my face. Does that mean I can’t feel “beautiful enough” to post a selfie? And why do I feel obligated to hashtag “no filter”, “no makeup”, “all natural”, “don’t judge me”; as if I need to defend my beautiful self? Hmmm. The wheels in my brain are spinning! What about you? What message do you think these musical artists/song writers intended to send when they created these lyrics?
WATCH: “What If I Knew I Was Beautiful…”