Saturday, January 1, 2011

Maybe it's not really cynicism...

I almost threw out this rant as a comment on somebody's facebook status, but then I considered that the song quoted in said status was probably a message sent directly from the quoter to his girl, and I didn't want to ruin their cutesy bliss.

Here, however, I shan't hold back. This shall be my final rant concerning a certain topic on which certain readers will know I love to rant.

If you are unfamiliar with the song "Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars, I will include a link to the lyrics at the bottom. Or maybe the Youtube video. No, not the video. I won't do that to you. But if you listen to pop/hit radio EVER, I'm sure you have heard it.

I am not against "cute" so very much. Cute is good. I am a girl and I like cute things. I enjoy a good chick flick every now and then...but with a limit. "The Notebook," for example? I could have lived a good, full life without that one or any other Nicholas Sparks book/movie ever written/made, with the exception of "A Walk to Remember," for which I need make no argument because you already know that I'm right, don't you?

But back to Bruno Mars.

This cute little song of his has been placed on a pedestle almost as a treatise on the way a boy should feel about, treat, and talk to his girl (notice that I did not say "man" or "woman"). This saddens and worries me. Remember those lyrics now, or read them, if you need to. All those things about the girl that take Mr. Mars' breath away or whatever? All physical, even the part about her laugh, in a way, because it is a sensory experience.

In other words, there is no substance within this song concerning the feelings this boy holds for that girl as a person with a brain/heart/soul/spirit. People classify this as a love song, but there is nothing about love in it. He never so much as hints at the word. It is a song about infatuation and, you know, B. Mars may even be aware of that. It's possible he would tell you straight-forward that the song is not about love. Honestly, however, that matters little. People turn it into a love song. A boy might sing it to a girl, and the girl will think that the boy is in love with her, whether or not he is and whether or not she is.

Of course, the boy can sing absolutely any song he wants and he doesn't have to mean it. But that's an entirely different topic.

Now, if a boy sings or plays this song to a girl and they both know where their relationship stands and she can simply enjoy the compliment (be the context either a little fling or a deep, loving relationship), then sing away.

But can I make a suggestion, gentlemen? Skip the cliche's (have I mentioned the song screams "cliche" to me as well?). Nine times out of ten, someone else's song cannot actually say it better than you can. If you are that one, okay then, you may need to work on that. Or find a girl who appreciates the way you say things badly, because such girls DO exist, and yours will probably turn out to be the girl of your dreams. Say it however you want. In song, poetry, art, film, letter, or any of those love languages (remember those?) - whatever you do well. Just say it to her face. Stumble your way through it, if you have to. Most girls, in fact, find this irresistibly adorable.

You can try telling me that you wouldn't change anything about my face, but honey, age happens. That face is GONNA change, and what then? Yes, a girl wants to hear that she's pretty. Very few girls or women will ever hear it enough in their lifetime. She needs it. Yes, she wants to make somebody melt with her smile, but she also wants to make somebody laugh with her wit or her antics or her clumsiness. She wants to be trusted, included, believed in. She wants her heart and her mind valued and sought after, so much more than her body.

In addition to all this, I personally want to be challeneged, in every way, but especially in my faith. I want to be pushed. I want to be prayed for. I want to be pointed right back to Christ. I want to feel as though I serve God better when I have him by my side than I do alone or with anyone else. I want to be loved "as Christ loved the Church." As a young Christian woman, I had to throw these things in, because they are the most important things of all.

Ridiculous standards, right? For this day and age? For a single twenty-something female surrounded by people dating or getting married?

Take a look at divorce rates and tell me where today's standards of love have brought us. I say it is my right to be picky. I also say it is my responsibility to become the kind of woman that the man I pick in my pickiness might pick right back.

Now to ponder whether I have been picky enough lately.

As promised, a link to the lyrics: "Just the Way You Are" - Bruno Mars

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