Pharrell released his new video for “Marilyn Monroe,” and it digs into the everlasting trend of men in pop music telling us ladies that it’s cool to just be ourselves. But is it possible for the opposite sex to applaud us without pandering?
In pop, there are go-to topics for Billboard chart success and one, along with romantic ballads, heartbreak tear-jerkers and party jams, is the ‘girl, you’re perfect au naturale’ song by a man. An old reference for this genre of female empowerment by the opposite sex is Billy Joel’s aptly titled “Just The Way You Are” but more recently, there’s Bruno Mars’ song of the same title. (Similarly: One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful.") Elsewhere, there’s Kendrick Lamar's mixtape cut "No Make Up," Drake's "Best I Ever Had" line where he raps "sweatpants, hair tied, chilling with no make up on, that's when you're the prettiest" and the hip-hop backpacker favorite, Blackstar's “Brown Skin Lady.” On the 'she has a good job' side, there's Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent,” Yo Gotti's "5 Star Chick" featuring early Nicki Minaj or even the Louisiana rapper Webbie’s “Independent” to name a few.
Now Pharrell, the guy who recently told GQ that black women shouldn’t look to him for validation, has released a song about liking ladies that aren’t traditionally beautiful like, say, Marilyn Monroe. He just wants a "different girl." Sounds like a play at validation to me. Aside from the fact that I liked Pharrell much more when he wasn’t so apt to share his rich man’s views on The World, I’d like to ask you readers: Is there a 'do you girl' song by a guy that you felt was sincere and didn’t make you roll your eyes?