Most Popular Song These Days: I Kissed a Girl

July 10, 2008

So, of course I would find out about the number one song on the charts on NPR. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard it, or maybe I had and just didn’t notice until it was pointed out. The song is I Kissed a Girl and the lyrics are as follows:

This was never the way I planned
Not my intention
I got so brave, drink in hand
Lost my discretion
It’s not what, I’m used to
Just wanna try you on
I’m curious for you
Caught my attention

I kissed a girl and I liked it
The taste of her cherry chap stick
I kissed a girl just to try it
I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don’t mean I’m in love tonight
I kissed a girl and I liked it
I liked it

No, I don’t even know your name
It doesn’t matter
You’re my experimental game
Just human nature
It’s not what, good girls do
Not how they should behave
My head gets so confused
Hard to obey

I kissed a girl and I liked it
The taste of her cherry chap stick
I kissed a girl just to try it
I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don’t mean I’m in love tonight
I kissed a girl and I liked it
I liked it

Us girls we are so magical
Soft skin, red lips, so kissable
Hard to resist so touchable
Too good to deny it
Ain’t no big deal, it’s innocent

I kissed a girl and I liked it
The taste of her cherry chap stick
I kissed a girl just to try it
I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don’t mean I’m in love tonight
I kissed a girl and I liked it
I liked it

This is like an OWL discussion waiting to happen. There is so much here. On the one hand, I want to say, “Great, a little pop culture acknowledgment that sexuality is fluid, attraction does not depend on sex/gender, and it is no big deal for girls/women to kiss.” I want to see the good in this. Yes, this is better than revulsion, or hate when it comes to two women or two girls kissing.

Maybe it is sort of like the eternal Will & Grace question. Is it better that we have it, even given the stereotyping, and other problems? Or does it do more harm that good….

Even before I found out (ugg) that apparently her last hit song was “Ur So Gay,” which, let’s be clear, is not some sort of queer power ballad, I was thinking that this song has got some problems. First, this is not for 25 year olds as far as I can tell. Her voice and demeanor make her seem like she is shooting for the Miley Cyrus crowd, not the college clubs (although, of course, you know this is a hug favorite of many college frat guys). So what message does this send to the 14-year old listeners?

1. Drinking is a key part of sexual experimentation. Is this the end of the world when done semi-responsibly in your 20s? No. Is it a good message to convey to 13 year olds? Not so much.
2. Kissing girls is fun for experimenting, but a boyfriend is really the main thing (“I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it.”)
3. It is more like a fun activity, not something to take seriously (No, I don’t even know your name/
It doesn’t matter/You’re my experimental game)

Right, so when ever was pop music some sort of good example for kids? Probably never. Best hope is that this opens up some space for conversations…paves the way for songs not just about kissing a girl while you are drunk. Yet, at the same time, I’ll be glad if/when we can move away from girls making out is so hot, especially when it is just for fun, but men making out is gross and not hot at all. This leads to questions about how bisexuality for women got to be so in/cool and what that really might mean. But that is for another post.

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