Colbie Caillat Brilliantly Tackles Image Issues


Kudos to you, Colbie Caillat.

Women everywhere are constantly battling the universal expectations of beauty that plague society, and you have brilliantly tackled these image issues.  Your stunning video, Try, not only features your haunting voice, but the staging of the video itself is incredibly well done.  Too many women and girls look at themselves in the mirror and think that they are too skinny, too fat, or too much of one thing or the other.  As one of the most beautiful women in music today, you have brought into sharp, stunning focus how we should begin to accept ourselves for who we are.

Of course, this is far easier said than done, but even women such as myself struggle daily with that image we see in the mirror.  Ms. Caillat, you acknowledge the made up, sexified, beautified world we live in and help us to realize that appearance does not make a person.  To be sure, we all want to be attractive and appealing on one level or another, but to believe that we need the eyeliners, fake eyelashes and gel nails is ridiculous.  The fact that women of all ages, shapes, and sizes were featured removing the accessories – largely makeup – that we are all taught makes us womanly was a powerful statement.

The fact that you, Ms. Caillat, were also featured removing your makeup and false eyelashes in an effort to show your true self only adds to the video’s power.  You were bold and unafraid, and while in interviews you openly acknowledge that while you love getting dressed up, you also embrace the fact that walking around with no makeup, wearing workout clothes and your hair freshly dried from the shower is extremely comfortable for you.  Ms. Caillat, you may not be aware of just how much empowerment you gave women.  You are definitely attractive, with and without makeup, but you are likely one of the first in music – one of the most powerful mediums in the world – to encourage people and especially women to free ourselves from societal pressures of beauty and embrace the true attractiveness of ourselves.

The lyrics for Try are as simple as the videography used in your video.  Slowly, the women in your video, including yourself, are removing the makeup and, symbolically, the chains that have essentially pushed the women of today and the girls that are growing up to embrace the same expectations of beauty that have gripped society for years.  In a world where arms can be thinned out, acne can be erased, and thighs can be made more shapely, you have taught women that it is okay to be exactly as we are – unfettered by societal expectations of beauty, so long as we hang on to the beauty within us all.

Ms. Caillat, thank you for the powerful message you have given us in your music and video for Try.  It is a powerful message that, as the mother of two young girls, I plan on enforcing.  Beauty is an incredibly fluid thing, and it is unfortunate that women and girls everywhere feel compelled to hang on to what is really an antiquated notion of what beauty is.  As a society, we should really look at what beauty should be – that natural magnetism that comes from living our true lives, as ourselves.

Opinion by Christina St-Jean


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