Mean (Girls)>(Part 1)   Leave a comment

 

You, with your words like knives and swords and weapons that you use against me
You have knocked me off my feet again got me feeling like I’m nothing
You, with your voice like nails on a chalkboard, calling me out when I’m wounded
You, pickin’ on the weaker man

Well, you can take me down with just one single blow
But you don’t know what you don’t know

For those of you with teenagers, you probably know these lyrics. If not, ask your child and I’m sure she’ll be able to explain them to you. When you get to the end of this post, you can watch the video.

Taylor Swift’s “Mean” is a story of universal tales of getting picked on with a colorful theater show starring the country singer.

Someday I’ll be living in a big old city
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean

Why you gotta be so mean?

You, with your switching sides and your walk-by lies and your humiliation
You, have pointed out my flaws again as if I don’t already see them
I’ll walk with my head down trying to block you out ’cause I’ll never impress you
I just wanna feel okay again

The video opens with Swift strumming a banjo in front of her backing band, who inhabit a lush stage setup resembling a farmhouse and begins playing alongside her. The jamboree offsets the painful tales of bullying: a well-dressed boy is prodded in a locker room by the football team, a female fast-food worker is victimized by a group of high schoolers, and a girl is shunned by the popular crowd and forced to eat lunch in the bathroom. All of the stories are resolved at the clip’s end, with the first two teens landing their dream jobs and the unpopular girl happily watching the star Swift has become on stage. “Someday, I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me/And all you’re ever gonna be is mean,” Swift sings while dressed in a glamorous flapper getup.

I’ll bet you got pushed around, somebody made you cold
But the cycle ends right now ’cause you can’t lead me down that road
And you don’t know what you don’t know

Someday I’ll be living in a big old city
and all you’re ever gonna be is mean
Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean

Why you gotta be so mean?

It would be nice if all stories of bullying and teen violence wrapped up nicely like a fairy tale, but they don’t. Bullying can and does scar for life. This song has turned into an anthem (read: fantasy) of the bullied: “Someday, you are going to be sorry for bullying me. I’m going to be rich/successful/famous, and you’ll still be a jerk.” My question is, what happens to those who are bullied who don’t become rich/successful/famous? Do they just grow up to be well adjusted adults? I don’t think so. They will go into adulthood with the same insecurities, fears, and hurts that they grew up with.

And I can see you years from now in a bar, talking over a football game
With that same big loud opinion but nobody’s listening
Washed up and ranting about the same old bitter things
Drunk and grumbling on about how I can’t sing

But all you are is mean

So, what can we do to make sure that our kids who are bullied and picked on grow up to be well adjusted? We need to start before the  the bullying begins. We need to make sure we start building our kids up; We need to make sure that their identity is not in what they wear, the music they listen to, or the friends they have. We need to ingrain in them that their identity is in who God made them to be. We need to be parents who honor our children by making sure that they know they can confide in us no matter what. That “I love you” comes before “what were you thinking?”. If they get into a fight at school, have a crush on a boy, got caught cheating on a test, broke up with a boyfriend, got picked on – our kids need to feel comfortable telling us these things. That begins with open conversations early on in their life, and that they understand that nothing they do will wear out our love for them.

All you are is mean and a liar and pathetic and alone in life

And mean, and mean, and mean, and mean

But someday I’ll be living in a big old city
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean, yeah
Someday, I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean

It scares me that a child can hold so much power over another child with mere words. Our natural instinct is to tell our children to “buck up”, or , “don’t worry about it, it will get better”. Remember what it was like when you were a kid. Those words are real, and they hurt. Remember sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me? Do me a favor, Google “Phoebe Prince” and tell me words don’t hurt.

Why you gotta be so mean?

Someday, I’ll be, living in a big old city
(Why you gotta be so mean?)
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
(Why you gotta be so mean?)
Someday, I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me
(Why you gotta be so mean?)
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean

Why you gotta be so mean?


Posted May 23, 2011 by sotpyouth in Family, Music, School

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Facts & Dreams

"Each man should frame life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet." -Victor Hugo

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