Monday, December 14, 2015

An Anthem for Adolescent Individuality (final)

Let's take a step back into 2008, in the heart of Disney Channel. Here was a rising star named Demi Lovato who had starred in the hit original movie, Camp Rock, and the TV comedy, Sonny with a Chance. Her first album, Don't Forget, was one of her big jumps to stardom. As one of the title tracks, "La La Land", she described the pressures of society, especially in Hollywood, to look and act a certain way. Unlike many of the people around her, she states that she does not want to change who she is, no matter environment she is in.

Let's take a look at the lyrics: she sings, "I'm not a supermodel, I still eat McDonald's. Baby, that's just me." In places that glamorize the "perfect body," it seems like Demi does not want to give into the pressure of looking a certain way. She wants to eat what she wants to eat and it is her decision in the end. To continue this trend, she asks, "Who said I can't wear my converse with my dress? Well, baby, that's just me!" Her own style is another thing that she wants to define her as an individual in a society filled with people who all look the same. She's just being herself and isn't afraid to stand next to someone wearing a thousand dollar heels. Not only is her physical appearance trying to be changed, but so is her own personal life and the emotions that come with it. She sings, "And who said I can't be single and have to go out and mingle? Baby, that's not me." Over and over again she ends her phrases with "that's not me" after she states something she is being pressured to do. She remains relentless whenever she is trying to be changed in attempt to increase her popularity, her fan base, and maybe her revenue. Others even say that "[she needs] to be afraid of losing everything," and yet she ignores their so called "advice" and continues to control her own life the way she wants to. She doesn't care about what other people think of her At the end of the song she sings statements like, "I'm not going to change," "I will stay that same," "I won't change anything in my life," "I'm staying myself tonight." Usually the last words in any kind of writing, like a poem or a story, it leaves the reader, or listener in this case, with some sort of message that is meant to stay with them. A sort of everlasting impression that sums up all of the words before. In this case, Demi Lovato is showing that she is determined to not be changed by the the "la-la land machine" that is

This whole bubble of the West Coast creates a sort of illusion of perfection and lifestyles that are not realistic. Everyone has the same routines and looks the same. People that enter such an environment end up being pumped out to be the same each other, like how a machine never changes its product. Maybe going so far to say that Hollywood is the machine and the celebrities are what it is producing and that it is not the paradise that it is made out to be. Not like the other celebrities in the business, she won't change what she wears, what she eats, who she dates, or how she lives her life to please anyone, but herself. It is easy to not know this song if you were not an avid Disney Channel viewer in the late 2000s, but Lovato's music video for "La La Land" has over 100 million views on YouTube. Hopefully such a message of staying true to yourself despite the pressures around you has spread to more than adolescent young girls, but to different kinds of people all around the world. Use Demi Lovato's incredible vocals and her lyrics to encourage yourself to be happy in your own skin. Join the thousands and check out the music video here

1 comment:

  1. Audrey, I agree that the message in the lyrics holds promise, but we might look at Ms. Lovato's example more critically. Is it possible to "eat at McDonald's" and "receive 100 million views on Youtube" while preaching the gospel of non-conformity? In other words, might superficial non-conformity actually be a marketing strategy, a posture that sells?