Skin

Singer Sabrina Carpenter looks up against a black backdrop.

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Kristin Smith

Album Review

Twenty-one-year-old Sabrina Carpenter has been making a way for herself in the entertainment industry since she was a young girl, starring in Girl Meets World and The Hate U Give.

Now she’s doing the same in the music industry. Her new single, “Skin,” is her first to chart on Billboard’s Hot 100. Many fans think that this track is a direct reply to the chart-topping song “Driver’s License” by Olivia Rodrigo. But that’s open for interpretation in this tune in which Carpenter lets listeners know that she will not be bothered by petty matters involving her personal life.

Don’t Even Try

Carpenter calls out another woman who has already thrown shade her way: “Maybe we could have been friends/If I met you in another life/ … Maybe you didn’t mean it/Maybe blonde was the only rhyme.”

Still, she is happy (“I’m happy, and you hate it”). And she seems to be telling this same woman that she won’t allow drama to bother her (“You can try/To get under my skin/While he’s on mine/ … Can’t get under my skin/If I don’t let you in”). The closest the video gets to depicting their intimacy is showing them in bed, clothed, with snow falling on the couple.

Apparently, she’s used to the criticism (“You’re putting me in the spotlight/But I’ve been under it all my life”). And while it may have gotten to her in the past, she’s done letting outside opinions take hold of her and hopes to move on (“I just hope that one day/We can both laugh about it”).

She’s Not Bothered. Parents Might Be.

Carpenter has been asked repeatedly if this song is about Olivia Rodrigo. And in an Instagram post she summed it all up by saying:

“I wasn’t bothered by a few lines in a (magnificent) song and wrote a diss track about it. I was at a tipping point in my life for countless reasons. So I was inspired to do what I usually do to cope … people can only get to you if you give them power to.”

That’s a positive message. But lyrics that hint at both sex and revenge definitely aren’t.  

Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).

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