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July 10, 2020

This Feminist Music Video still Makes me Cry—Even 6 Years Later.

I’ve never quite felt comfortable in my body.

I remember being in the fourth grade and watching during show-and-tell as the girls would show pictures of themselves in the first and second grades before they’d “lost their baby fat.”

I’d look at their bodies and compare them to my own. I was 10 and still had my “chub,” my cherubic, dimpled cheeks, the gap between my wide front teeth.

I’ve never stopped comparing.

I think many of us could say the same.

I can still remember where I was when I first heard this song. My mom and I were driving over the Vincent Thomas Bridge in Long Beach, California when she turned up the volume and told me to listen to the lyrics. I can still feel the lump in my throat, mainly because, to this day, this song—particularly this video—still makes me cry.

I love everything about it.

From calling out capitalism for targeting women by encouraging us to buy into loads of debt with a promise that our spending will help us to “belong so they like you,” to showing, step-by-step, how unrealistic beauty standards are, Colbie Caillat nails it.

I love the variety of women shown in their made-up state, and the emotions that wash across each of their faces as they strip their skin of makeup and lip-sync lyrics.

I love how they each so uniquely internalize the message in various reactions: a single tear, a lower lip contorted in anger and frustration, wisdom, pride.

It may be six years old, but this message is something we women (and men) should keep as an earworm for years and years to come.

Perhaps, even, until the day it is no longer relevant due to the change we have created.

To my peers who suffer a lack of self-confidence, a discomfort within your body, or any other variety of issues surrounding physical self-image, you are beautiful.

“You don’t have to try.”

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