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When I was a teenager, I used to listen to all sorts of music. My cassette tapes (look it up, kids) ran the gamut from Amy Grant to Chicago, from DC Talk to Nirvana, from Tiffany to Psalty. I remember my parents disapproving when we’d listen to non-Christian music because they didn’t like the messages in the lyrics. I’d look out from underneath my freshly crimped hair and fight back with, “I don’t listen to the words! I just like the beat.”

Aaah, that elusive beat. It had the power to draw you in, to create a feeling, to make you completely oblivious to the message in the song. It appears that same beat that hypnotized me all those years ago has got its hold on hundreds of millions of today’s music lovers.

Case in point: Robin Thicke’s hit new song, “Blurred Lines.” I cannot in good conscience transcribe all the lyrics from the song here. But I’ll give you just a taste. My apologies in advance if it tastes a little bitter.

He was close, tried to domesticate you
But you’re an animal, baby, it’s in your nature
Just let me liberate you

I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You’re a good girl

The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me

Nothing like your last guy, he too square for you
He don’t smack that ___ and pull your hair like that

Shake the vibe, get down, get up
Do it like it hurt, like it hurt

It’s hard not to address the fact that the writing in this song is horrendous. Where has the art of a proper, complete thought gone? Alas, let’s try to stay on topic.

Robin Thicke’s song isn’t the first of its kind. We can all point out Top 40 hits on the radio that have terrible, demeaning, disgusting lyrics. The words blatantly put down women, minimize the value of relationships, worship sex, glorify our bodies, and place men in a position of power over the opposite sex. Even the songs from so-called female divas do much of the same — resorting to cheap, easy phrases about sex, money, lust, drinking, and partying to score a number one hit. So why am I calling out Robin Thicke’s song?

I’m honestly shocked that we as a society catapulted him to the top of the charts so quickly — seemingly without thinking, without listening to what he’s actually saying in the song. (And don’t even get me started on the video!)

I’m left to wonder if this is what men really want: Women that pretend to be “good girls,” but then want to “get nasty.”

I’m left to wonder if this is what women really want: Men that call them the “B” word over and over, trivialize intimacy, and objectify their bodies to the point where they’re not even connected to who they are anymore.

I guess it all really hit me when I saw a tweet from a girl that I used to teach in Sunday School. She’s about 13 now, and she posted something on Twitter about how she can’t stop listening to “Blurred Lines.”

Crack, crack, crack goes my heart.

My friend Jessica of Single Roots (an online community for single Christians) pointed out this video to me today. It shows the reactions and feedback of several teens who watch the “Blurred Lines” video and listen to the lyrics of the song. Neither Jessica nor I can decide how these reactions make us feel, but it’s nowhere near better.

While some of the teens seem to like the song and think it’s catchy, others seem to know something is wrong with it.

One teen girl said, “It made me feel really uncomfortable. I feel a little violated.”

One teen boy points out: “When I listen to the song, it’s not even that my life is not any better after it. It’s that my life is actually a little bit worse because I feel like I’ve become, like, a lesser being.”

And quite possibly the most profound quote from one teen girl: “That’s what pop culture is… is putting women down. ‘Oh, you know you want it. Oh, you know, you’re such a good girl. No, you can’t have it, but you want it.’ “

I think back to Teen Ruthie and how I used to listen to certain songs “just because I liked the beat.” Even the adult version of me falls into this trap. But when I saw that my former Sunday School student was into this song, was listening to these lyrics, something snapped.

It’s not okay. We — both women and men — are worth more than this.

  • We are children of a loving God. (1 Peter 1:23)
  • We are created in his image. (Genesis 1:27)
  • We are his righteousness. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
  • We are part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. (1 Peter 2:9)
  • We are the light of the world. (Matthew 5:14)

Don’t let anyone take that God-given identity away from you. Don’t sell yourself short.

I think I need to learn to not let Hollywood faze me. Sometimes I get so frustrated by the power and reach of their influence. I want to scream, “It’s not fair!” But what Robin Thicke needs to know is that whenever I think of him, I think of this:

ROBIN THICKE 2

Which, naturally, makes me think of this:

ALAN THICKE 2

Then, of course, this:

KIRK CAMERON 2

After a quick swoon, my mind jumps over to this:

DJ TANNER 2

Then I automatically start thinking of this:

UNCLE JESSE 2

Which really means… have mercy… this:

TH5-John-Stamos-0502

Which means… well:

dannon-oikos-blueberry

And now I’m just hungry. Thanks a lot, #THICKE.

~Ruth