You don’t have to try

This is a music video for Colbie Caillat’s song, Try. In the beginning of the song, the lyrics talk about how you have to present yourself as a young woman to be accepted. She touches on the yearning to belong by individuals through the lyrics, “this is what you want, to belong, so they like you. Do they like you?”. The end of that phrase touches on the acknowledgement of other’s thoughts, but the uncertainty of their approval. The song then moves into the chorus which encourages listeners to not “try so hard”. Later in the second verse, she fights the idea of seeking other’s approval, but rather focusing on the approval of yourself, “Why should you care what they think of you. When you’re all alone, by yourself, do you like you?”. The song then closes by reversing all the actions done in the beginning of the video to show young girls that it is ok to be yourself. Colbie Caillat says, “you don’t have to change a single thing”. I think this music video has a strong message of self acceptance and approval for women and girls.

This music video ties into the “Popular” keywords essay. In this essay, the author mentions that there are two understandings of the word popular. There is a negative and positive view of the word. The negative touches on someone who is low brow and not high culture, while the positive view is one who is acceptable and available. Often times, popularity has to do with merit and acknowledgement. For young girls during their girlhood, the word popular often is associated with the children in their class who are the most well known. Sometimes they are well liked while other times they are envied. Many people follow the popular crowd by participating in the latest trends. However, Colbie Caillat’s song, Try, counteracts this pressure to be popular. I think this is an important lesson for young girls to hear. They should be themselves, and they should learn to love who they are as unique individuals.

4 thoughts on “You don’t have to try”

  1. Social media is the silent killer for women. Society creates almost like a checklist of what women are suppose to look like and how to conduct themselves. If you don’t fit into these standards you are considered an outcast. Women in the media have made a better effort in recent years to advocate for greater difference and acceptance but it is still very prevalent in society. That you can be yourself and that is good enough. The issue is that girls not only hear this in the media but it is all around them. People idolizing the pretty girl or the girl who has the “best” qualities and forgets to see the best parts of each person. Everyone has a good quality and we are all unique for a reason. If we were all similar the world would be very boring. Diversity should be valued and we need to stop comparing women to each other.

  2. I really liked your post about the key word popular! I have not heard this song much, so looking at what the lyrics are and watching the video really showed the message that is being portrayed. I think society forces people especially young girls to be “made up” in a certain way to be accepted. Colbie Caillat song really enhances the message that the only approval you need is your own.

  3. Hi Abby!

    This was a great post! I have always really loved this song and agree that it sends the very important message to girls that they are unique and should love themselves how they are, regardless what other people think of them or what value they place on them. This is actually one of the only songs I know that directly addresses young girls and shares this particular message, and I argue that artists should make it a point to send messages like this song does more often. Particularly in this time, when young girls are constantly viewing information through social media, and also constantly being judged and “liked” on online as well, I think that this message is even more prevalent and important.

  4. I had completely forgotten about this song until reading this but it definitely holds a prominent place in my memories, which looking back is a very positive thing. It’s good to see that when we were growing up their were strong showings of going against the norm and embracing oneself. Hopefully this only continues on so other young girls can see that they don’t need to confine themselves to society’s standards

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