In this new song “pretty isn’t pretty,” Olivia Rodrigo dives into the insatiable beauty standards set by society on people, especially teens. Being a celebrity only adds to the issue and Olivia gives her first-hand account of the topic.
Olivia Rodrigo released her second studio album ‘GUTS’ on September 8, 2023. The release of the album was followed by two singles “vampire” and “bad idea right?” Talking to Apple Music, Olivia Rodrigo admitted that her debut album ‘SOUR’ was a lot more spontaneous than anything else. However, her follow-up project ‘GUTS’ was inspired by “lots of confusion, mistakes, awkwardness & good old fashioned teen angst.”
In an interview with Nylon Magazine, Olivia Rodrigo explained how social media impacted her self-esteem and image; “…I was super obsessed with social media. I would look for things that would hurt my feelings all the time and compare myself to everyone. I felt like my life was only what I showed to others. I didn’t feel like my life was any deeper than my Instagram feed. That’s a really troubling mindset to be in as a teenager.”
Listen to “pretty isn’t pretty” by Olivia Rodrigo
Olivia Rodrigo “pretty isn’t pretty” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
In the first verse of the song, Olivia Rodrigo explains the nature of the influence society and social media has on people. There’s always something missing and something to achieve. Olivia says she bought more makeup–the latest trendy colors, she stopped eating cake even at a birthday party–because she could not afford to add more weight, and she bought some prescription pills–because everybody says take anxiety pills.
She had begun the descent into an abyss of unachievable beauty standards. She had to be the perfect one because there was the media she had to satisfy. Media and the public are like blackholes that fee on everything and never get full.
Today’s beauty standard is set to expire tomorrow. All the makeup you bought today will not be enough to cover their stories tomorrow. Pretty isn’t pretty enough every passing day.
In the second verse of the song, Olivia Rodrigo realizes that she is in a war that she cannot win ever. She can win a daily battle by putting some makeup on, buying the latest fashion, and putting a fake smile on. But, she understands that the battle is too big to win on her own. A lot more people need to join the conversation to make a dent in this war.
Being a celebrity, and a very big one at that, Olivia has to deal with a lot more spotlight than most. She is an easy target for the media and it takes a lot of courage to survive this war.
Let us hear what you think about this song in the comments below. Read the complete lyrics to the song on Genius.