Last Thursday Alecia Moore hit #1 on the charts with her latest single, “So What.” I’ve always found the singer known as Pink to be quite intriguing. For one, she and I share the same geographic roots, both of us growing up in the Philly suburbs. But even more than that, it’s her story that’s grabbed me the most. A child of brokenness, her music has consistently reflected her battle to come to terms with her past while taking control of her present and future.
But “So What” was occasioned by even more brokenness. This time, it was her separation and divorce from motocrosser Carey Hart, the man this seemingly strong and assertive woman proposed to and eventually married in January of 2006. I spent some time watching and re-watching the clip last Thursday. Then, I took the time to write a 3D review of the song and video that we’ve posted on our site (hand it on to parents and be sure to discuss it with your kids).
I went back and read an article I had written on Pink in 2002 as she was bursting onto the music scene. Knowing her story and watching it continue to unfold is a helpful exercise in understanding today’s youth culture. She’s a map for our vulnerable young kids, telling them what to think and how to live. She’s a mirror for those of us who love and minister to kids, providing us insights into where our culture’s at, and where it’s headed.
Since watching Pink’s “So What” last week, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the map she’s drawing and the images of culture that she and her music reflect. For what it’s worth, consider these thoughts. . . .
First, brokenness runs deep and wide. Okay, so most adults will watch the video and get mad at Pink simply because she’s mad. Get over it. That’s what happens when creation and fall are experienced without going any further into redemption. Genesis 3:6 is where most people spin their wheels and live. Being broken hurts until it all gets fixed. We can’t expect the unfixed to act fixed. In reality, Pink does us a favor by putting an easily understood face on the brokenness that’s out there. We can choose to pass by on the other side, or stop and help. . . no matter what the cost to us. Remember that story?
Second, this is where our girls are going. Pink dresses raw. She speaks raw. She sings raw. She looks raw. Some would say she is raw. This is the new and evolving face of what it means to be a lady in our culture. Much of it is rooted in the brokenness they’ve experienced at the hands of the men in their lives. . . . and they’re resigned to an “I’m not taking it anymore!” approach to life. It’s increasingly taking the form of the sexy tough girl. Again, we might not like it. As a result, we might do all we can to convince our girls to act like a lady. But it’s only when the inside-stuff from which the outside-stuff flows is transformed, that the outside-stuff is an indicator of inward transformation.
Third, try as hard as we like, we can’t redeem ourselves. In a way, Pink’s no different than the rest of us. Things have fallen apart and we try hard to fix it through diversion, attitude, or just toughing it out. Reality is, it never works. When things slow down and we’re alone with ourselves, we realize the gnawing just continues.
Finally, healing is needed. Remember the old Sunday School song “Deep and Wide?” The “fountain flowing deep and wide” is the only place to go to drink of the life-giving “Living Water.” That should make us all the more eager to turn “So What” on, and then to respond with the love and grace of Christ.