My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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P!nk: beautiful and political

Although i had heard P!nk’s music on the radio over the last couple of years, i didn’t pay much attention to her until her latest video Stupid Girls started popping up all over MySpace. I was floored by the no-bullshit strong feminism coming out of a mainstream artist and utterly ecstatic to see young girls share her video on their pages. So i bought her latest CD. I’m Not Dead unapologetically political and extremely beautiful and i have just been playing it on repeat all night. One song in particular – “Dear Mr. President” – really got under my skin. Featuring Indigo Girls, it’s an open letter to Bush. Here’s a sample from the lyrics:

How do you sleep while the rest of us cry
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye
How do you walk with your head held high
Can you even look me in the eye

Let me tell you bout hard work
Minimum wage with a baby on the way
Let me tell you bout hard work
Rebuilding your house after the bombs took them away
Let me tell you bout hard work
Building a bed out of a cardboard box

It’s been a long time since i wanted to celebrate a mainstream artist, but P!nk’s latest album really blows me away and i wanted to share that with those of you who haven’t been paying attention to mainstream music. Wow.

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23 comments to P!nk: beautiful and political

  • I know what you mean! I’ve always thought Pink is a bit more than the average pop-bimbo. Madonna for her generation I reckon…

  • Ken

    I agree entirely. I used to think of P!nk as just another puff pop star, but have had “Dear Mr. P” on heavy rotation on my iPod.

    Also looking forward to the new Dixie Chicks album next month.

  • I have liked Pink for a long time and this album is a very very good one…musically, lyrically, thematically.

    I have to say though that I wish she could have made her video about those stupid, tarty girls, without tarting herself up so much in it. Sure, it’s *ironic*, but truth be told the meta-meta, ironic tone of the video doesn’t match the straight-up, in your face tone of the song itself.

    It feels like a let-down to me.

  • I’ve always like P!nk. She’s such a strong woman. I recently saw her Stupid Girls video and I laughed all the way through it, as I worked out on my treadmill. SO TRUE. The problem with the video is that she is thin and gorgeous already, so she’s making fun of girls who try too hard to achieve that, and yet she is that regardless (whether she tries or not). So it’s ironic and yet somehow also hypocritical. Anyway, it was still enjoyable on a “look at all the stupid stuff society demands of us and we actually GIVE IN to instead of defying it” kind of way. Yeah, this is one of those huge “issues” for me.

  • Mark H

    I’m not sure, it’s somehow a rather disingenious piece of marketing it seems to me. Playing up on her non-stereotypical image – which exists very strongly only within the mainstream. It reminds me of the way Marilyn Manson stakes out the disenfranchised youth and those who want something different in their heroes, but still only has the most gorgeous women in his videos, no different from any rap star!? Clever, but not honest.

  • Wow – you are not the one I would have picked to be a Pink fan , but to me it seems that you are for all of the right reasons.

  • I’m in total agreement — that song gave me shivers when it came up in my Rhapsody playlist. But I do think you missed the best part: “What kind of father would take his own daughter’s rights away / And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay / I can only imagine what the first lady has to say.” And she sings it with so much conviction. I like me some Pink.

  • Nick

    In case you have not already seen it, you may find the following article interesting:

    ———–

    Mom on MySpace

    I’ve covered murders, grisly accidents, airplanes falling out of the sky and, occasionally, dirty politics. But in nearly two decades of journalism, nothing has made my insides churn like seeing what my 13-year-old daughter and her friends are up to on MySpace.com.

    http://www.duluthsuperior.com/mld/duluthsuperior/living/14426432.htm

    ———–

  • John Nelson

    You girls don’t date much, do you?

  • Elisa – i’m not sure i agree with you. The power of that video is that she’s actually mocking so many of the teen figures – Xtina, Paris, Nickie, etc. She’s not tarting herself up so much as commenting on a bazillion other videos that are recognizable in pop culture.

  • Laura

    P!nk has always been a favourite singer of mine. She always speak the truth and isn’t afraid to voice her opinions.

    It’s refreshing to have a singer that isn’t wearing a belt as a skirt or grinding over 20 men in a video.

    Im impressed yet again with her new album. “Stupid Girls” is fantastic and shows exactly what epidemic is stricking the music scene.

  • danah, i think that elisa’s point is that in addition to commenting on other figures in pop culture, pink is also participating in the same spectacle which devalues our primary experience of the world in the first place. which is an obvious criticism imo, but not one about which i’ve ever figured out what to do.

    also, thanks for posting the video–i hadn’t seen it and it kinda made me cry.

  • hi i am lucy and i am one of u greatest fans i love pink so much they are cool

  • Ben

    Wow, I never herd a song writer try and get political and sound so stupid to both Democrats and Republicans. It’s pretty bad when you’re Bush bashing and Democrats are telling you to shut the hell up. Not only are they some of the cheapest lyrics I have ever herd, they are also completely uneducated. “What do feel when see all the homeless” she asks, well maybe she should check some statistics and see in the past 6 years that level has dropped. So maybe he feels just a little bit. “What kind of father would take his own daughters rights away” she asks, well what rights did he take away? Please be more specific Pink because I can only remember that that responsibility is in the hands of the legislative branch, not the executive’s. “Let me tell you about hard work” Pink says, but I doubt she could tell anyone about that. I say “let me tell you about education” because it seems you don’t have any. I think Pink needs to take a few simple classes on American government and economics before she tries to do a song like this. This song was just a poor attempt by Pink to jump on the hate Bush band wagon like a lot of musicians are to sell records, but it was the worst attempt yet. The bad thing is that I know that there are a lot of dumb little pop kids who are out there like “that is so true”.

  • Ben

    Wow, I never herd a song writer try and get political and sound so stupid to both Democrats and Republicans. It?s pretty bad when you?re Bush bashing and Democrats are telling you to shut the hell up. Not only are they some of the cheapest lyrics I have ever herd, they are also completely uneducated. ?What do feel when see all the homeless? she asks, well maybe she should check some statistics and see in the past 6 years that level has dropped. So maybe he feels just a little bit. ?What kind of father would take his own daughters rights away? she asks, well what rights did he take away? Please be more specific Pink because I can only remember that that responsibility is in the hands of the legislative branch, not the executive?s. ?Let me tell you about hard work? Pink says, but I doubt she could tell anyone about that. I say ?let me tell you about education? because it seems you don?t have any. I think Pink needs to take a few simple classes on American government and economics before she tries to do a song like this. This song was just a poor attempt by Pink to jump on the hate Bush band wagon like a lot of musicians are to sell records, but it was the worst attempt yet. The bad thing is that I know that there are a lot of dumb little pop kids who are out there like ?that is so true?.

  • I realy like this album Its definately one of the best if not the best she has made but how can you say that p!nk doesn’t know whats she is talking about, have you not listened to this song. Just beacause the homeless statistics have droped doesn’t mean its not huge problem and what is bush doing to try and stop it forever nothing he just sat in his big chair in the white house dealing with problems in Iraq and other countries when he should consentrate more on america. I live in england and have a huge opinion on George Bush and Tony Blair and i think they could do more to help socitey change from what it is know, they just need to listen to that song to know how most people feel.

  • Jennifer

    I love P!nk! What guts to write that song. You know they wont even play in on the raido? Well what do you expect really. I think shes awesome and I love the song as well.

  • Sarah

    I love P!nk she is so cool and rocks the world. I love he songs. she is the one who rocks in this world!!!!!!!!!!!

  • P!nkD!abol!kaErmy

    P!NK IS THE BEST…FUCK STUPID PEOPLE..CUZ THEY’RE NOT FUNNY, NOT SMART, NOT NOT NOT NOTHING!!!YOU MUST LOVE P!NK CUZ SHE’S CONCRETE..BEAUTIFUL…I LOVE HER! I LOVE HER..I WANT HER! A BIG KISS TO MY FAVORITE SINGER!

  • Chloe

    I say ‘THANKYOU’ to P!nk for being so concerned and sensitive to all the less-advantaged people in the world. This song has clearly outlined alot; what is not seen. Taking the time out to write a song like that shows that she is a great role model. I was lucky enough to see P!nk in concert in melbourne and alot of her songs have meaning, but when she sang this the audience totally agreed with her orthodox opinions. You go p!nk! show the world the truth!

  • Stefan.Hedbom

    Hello there.

    I promise that I inform as correct and honest I can about this fact about the reality, with also honest fact about my own good life.

    The maine and inportant fact is to do as correct as possible for all other people, then it never matter what anyone ever belive about anything here in the reality. OK

    GOOD LUCK LIVING CORRECT FOR ALL OF LIFE!

  • mickey and kelsie

    hey p!nk kelsie and i are your number 1 fans we listen to your album every day mickey went to your last concert in melbourne on the 29th of may 07 mickey got your t shirt. going to your concert was the best time of my life. kelsie coulnt go to your concert but she watchers your dvd every time we watch your dvd we really want to go to your concert

    YOU ROCK

    YOUR AWSOME

    From your number 1 fans mickey and kelsie xoxoxoxo