Sigh. They told us that my generation had demolished such pressure in the last century, but I guess not. The music video reveals the battle for a girl's soul with some interesting symbolism (warning: the sexualized content, while satirical, is pervasive, and there's a graphic depiction of bulimia). A small Barbie-holding girl is watching television when two supernatural beings appear at her side, one a fiery female demon and the other a white-clad angel. The demon tries to tempt the girl to flaunt her sexuality and package herself as an object. The angel tries to show the stupidity of living like that and challenges her to become an "ambitious outcast." Then, in a disappointing finish to the intense battle over her identity, the little girl picks up a football.
Stupid girl, stupid girls, stupid girls
Baby if I act like that, that guy will call me back
What a paparazzi girl, I don't wanna be a stupid girl
Go to Fred Segal, you'll find them there
Laughing loud so all the little people stare
Looking for a daddy to pay for the champagne (Drop a name)
What happened to the dreams of a girl president
She's dancing in the video next to 50 Cent
They travel in packs of two or three
With their itsy bitsy doggies and their teeny-weeny tees
Where, oh where, have the smart people gone?
Oh where, oh where could they be?
Diseases growing, it's epidemic
I'm scared that there ain't a cure
The world believes it and I'm going crazy
I cannot take any more
I'm so glad that I'll never fit in
That will never be me
Outcasts and girls with ambition
That's what I wanna see
Disasters all around
Their only concern
Will they **** up my hair
Don't get me wrong. Sports are definitely a way to resist the culture's pressure to become an object of lust, but these days, they're not enough. Now you have to be a star athlete and a hottie at the same time. (Remember the names of the Olympian swimmers who posed for the covers of Playboy and Maxim? You don't? Hmmm...) Besides, the symbol of the football seems to imply that a girl needs to become masculine to be smart, instead of championing the unique freedom and strength of true femininity.
Pink herself hints at the antidote to stupidity when she mentions disease, despair, and disaster in her song. In his first letter to Timothy, St. Paul lists "bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, (and) helping those in trouble" before adding that a godly woman devotes herself to "all kinds of good deeds." Pouring out life-giving, nourishing, healing grace — that's what smart women do. But is there an acceptable artifact in pop culture that symbolizes a woman's call to vestire benefactum (being clothed in good deeds)? My peers and I couldn't come up with anything better than an angry fist and a football, which might explain why we're raising a generation of sad and stupid girls. (Exceptions, please submit applications to become my future daughter-in-law.)