5 Seconds of Summer’s drummer Ashton Irwin released his debut single on September 24, 2020. The new track, titled “Skinny Skinny,” attempts to send an important message to all the people out there who are worried about their image.
Ashton Irwin announced the brand new single along with his debut studio album titled ‘Superbloom.’ The album is scheduled to release on October 23, 3030.
On Instagram, Ashton presented his thoughts on the new single;
We must fight against a common darkness that shadows our ability to live truthfully, to live without self doubt, and without self destruction and love ourselves for what we are. When writing “Skinny Skinny” I first thought of myself, and many other young peoples struggles with body image and particularly body dysmorphia. It’s something I’ve never confronted in a creative form and I am feeling strong in saying “Skinny Skinny” goes directly to that painful place in my mind.
The song was accompanied by a music video empowering the theme of the song. Ashton Irwin added a comment on YouTube; “The Skinny Skinny MV, directed by myself and Jade Ehlers faces and fights back against the demon that lives in the mirror. I wanted to capture what it feels like to struggle not feeling at home in your own body. This is a video of battle, footage of the fight, a snapshot of resilience. I hope you find this video empowering. Love, Ai.”
Watch “Skinny Skinny” Video by Ashton Irwin
“Skinny Skinny” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
The idea of the song revolves around the social pressures of having to look ‘perfect,’ especially when it comes to body type. Body-shaming has been a big issue throughout most of the 20th century, which has resulted in many unfortunate suicides as well. The truth of the matter is there is no level of ‘perfection’ that can be achieved without the individual being happy and healthy. This song attempts to deconstruct these toxic social norms.
The song attempts to highlight the people who are pressurized into maintaining a skinny body type just for the appeal of society. In the chorus, the singer says indirectly highlights the extremes that some people go into to maintain a skinny figure. Some starve themselves for days, use pills, throw up food, and go on extreme diets to achieve a skinny figure, and these measures could sometimes be life-threatening.
The singer talks about the toxic relationship these people have with their mirrors–or their second self. They always seem to be in front of the mirror when they are mentally defeated by something or someone. And “what you want to see is what you see.” So they will actually see a defeated person staring back at them, and to make matters worse, they will have a very poor perception of themselves in the mirror. And it’s a downward spiral thereafter.
These lyrics highlight the non-stop mental battle these people go through day in and out. Hunger is one of the most dominating forces in the world. But these people fathom so much willpower to force themselves not to eat food just to maintain an image to the world.
The singer also mentions how their poor view on their own self-image forces them away from society. Everybody likes to go out and have fun. But not everyone can appreciate a person with self-confidence.
The second verse of “Skinny Skinny” sheds a light on some of the pressing concerns about body-shaming and the people who fall subject to it, go through.
Most times, these people suffer in silence. It is highly unlikely that someone else would understand their situation. They have access to food, so why can’t they eat, right?! So, these people suffer physical and mental struggles on their own, which often can lead to unfortunate endings.
The last two lines get even more tragic. Some people tend to insert a finger into their throats (larynx) and trigger a gag-reflex in order to induce vomiting to throw up the food they have eaten to prevent themselves from gaining weight. As dire as this is, it also causes the acid in the stomach (which helps digest the food) to come out of the mouth. This acid damages the taste buds on the tongue which also helps kill the appetite for food.
None of the above are things that should happen to anyone–be it male, female, or any other gender. It is the responsibility of society as a whole to make everyone feel welcomed and respected despite their gender, color, body, or any other trait that is out of their control.
Let us hear what you think about this song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics and further meaning breakdown on Genius.