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Track Review

Love should be at the center of everything—and we all need it.

Maren Morris’ new country-pop single, “GIRL” (from her upcoming sophomore album), proclaims a strong message about self-love. The track focuses on giving yourself grace when you don’t feel you fit, or when you don’t feel you’re on point.

Though it's obviously an anthem aimed at women, it’s also a song that will likely connect with anyone who needs to hear the message that sometimes “just being” is OK. It also offers a powerful reminder that vulnerability without comparison brings freedom.

Wipe Away Your Tears

Learning to love ourselves is hard. And Maren Morris tackles that subject head-on as she opens up with a vulnerable line that reveals some of her inner thoughts: “Man, this s---'s unflatterin', all up in my head again/I don’t feel myself right now, maybe I should just lay down.” (That stray s-word is the only fly in the ointment, content-wise, on this otherwise thematically positive track.)

Her appearance and performance aren’t what she wishes they were (“If vanity’s my vitamin, well, I don’t feel the difference”), and now she’s ready for a change (“I don’t like myself right now, gotta find a way out”).

So she starts with some positive self-talk (“What you feel is natural/But I don’t wanna feel this anymore/Pick yourself up off the kitchen floor/What you waitin’ for?”), declaring that she’s through with her old self, the one that’s been lost in the comparison game (“Draw your comparisons, tryin’ to find who’s lesser than/I don’t wanna wear your crown, there’s enough to go around”).

Morris continues with a message of encouragement to herself, as well as any other women out there who are feeling low: “Girl, won’t you stop your cryin’?/I know that you’re tryin’/Everything’s gonna be OK/Baby girl, don’t you hang your head low/Don’t you lose your halo.”

What Women Want

Morris recently released a video for “GIRL,” and it focuses on the things that often threaten to tarnish a woman's “halo.”

The video is simultaneously empowering and occasionally problematic in terms of the images of women it presents. On the positive side, a constantly shifting montage clearly depicts women learning to overcome struggles as they experience setbacks. That encouraging message mirrors the song's positive lyrics.

Still, some of these snapshots also include brief images of women that need to be noted in a more cautionary way. We see women in revealing outfits, as well as one intimate scene that features a woman on top of a man. (Both are shirtless, and we very briefly glimpse her bare back.) Other concerns include a crude hand gesture; a car maliciously set on fire; someone smoking a cigarette; heated and physical arguments; a woman drinking wine; and the vulgarity “p-ssy” written on a sign.

It’s Time for the New You

In an interview with Billboard, Maren shared that learning to love ourselves well requires vulnerability and grace—qualities she hasn't always freely extended to herself before now:

“Me choosing ‘GIRL’ as the first single, it’s about transitioning from someone who felt like she didn’t need anybody into someone who very much needs people and is okay with admitting that.”

For a widely known country star, this is a big deal. For a woman, this is a big deal. For anyone, this is a big deal. We’re our own worst critics. We often save our harshest words for ourselves. Or we allow our toxic self-talk to drag others down so we can feel "better.”

It’s an unhealthy, defeating cycle. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, according to Maren Morris, we can choose to drop the pretense and the unrealistic standards, and embrace who we are in each season of our lives.

"GIRL" delivers an encouraging message to women everywhere, albeit one that's dented a bit by that lone profanity and some content issues in the gritty-but-realistic video that accompanies the song.

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Record Label

Columbia Nashville




January 17, 2019

On Video

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Kristin Smith

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