You don’t know you’re beautiful!
There is a strong theme emerging in songs of a guy recognizing the beauty in a girl and she is completely unaware of how amazing she is. One DIrection’s That’s What Makes You Beautiful was the first one I noticed. Emblem3 has Chloe and Ne-Yo Let Me Love You. At first it seemed sweet but now I think it is kind of alarming.
The Virgin’s journey is about awakening to your promise, your potential. When you connect to your soul, you shine and people can recognize your beauty. These songs seem to shift the power to the observer, giving the singer the ability to recognize the beauty in the girl even though she is too naive to recognize it in herself. The empowering part is for her to recognize the authentic nature in herself. which creates her beauty It is not nearly as romantic to be the one to define her as beautiful as he thinks it is. It would be way better if he recognized her beauty as rooted in her being herself.
Beauty is an interesting concept. Robert Shank wrote a great book called the Soul of Beauty which recognizes beauty as the ability of a person to connect to their soul and give it a tangible form. I love this concept. One DIrection’s song says you have no idea how beautiful you are “That’s what makes you beautiful!” It is a Little Red Ridinghood song requiring the object of his affection to stay detached from her own sense of knowing.Emblem3 says in Chloe, “you’ve got me and that’s all that matters”. Is this an effort to secure his future. If she chooses not to stay in the relationship (or he does) who is she then? Before she gets into a relationship she needs to have a strong connection to what makes her intrinsically valuable. Otherwise he defines her and she loses her freedom.
I suggest “Chloe, I know our sister turns everyone on, but you’re the one I want” is about a guy playing on a girls insecurity. He says she’s beautiful because he wants her. If only you could see what I see in you.” Why are these guys choosing women who are unaware of their power to be all that they can be, or their connection to their beauty?
Ne-Yo “Let Me Love You until you learn to love yourself” is celebrating the Victim part of her, enjoying his heroic nature. I’m not saying it is bad but it is a message that being a Victim draws people towards you with undying love. It should come with a warning label. Sometimes these guys are quite disappointed if you get on your feet.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for heroically helping the Victim and the naive. This is more of a call for songs that celebrate young women who are shining because they know who they are and they are bringing it to life.