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My Life Would Suck without You... or would it?
Today, I've decided to write a rant on the Kelly Clarkson song "My Life Would Suck without You." Why am I so angry? I guess it's the same reason the "Twilight" books make me upset: it sends a horrible message to young women about relationships.

Check out some of the awesome lyrics: "Guess this means you take back all you said before, like how you wanted anyone but me. Said you'd never come back, but here you are again." If that sounds like a fun relationship, you should check out what Kelly Clarkson sings about right after it: "Cause we belong together now, yeah. Forever united here somehow, yeah."

I just don't think that anyone should be sending a message that when your boyfriend says, "I want to be with anyone but you," he's really saying "we totally belong together, and we are forever united," because I just don't think that's what he's saying. If someone says to me, "I hate you, and I'd rather be with anyone else except for you," I interpret that as: "I hate you, and I'd rather be with anyone except for you." And I think that people should do the same. There's no reading between the lines there. If someone says that, even if they have loved you, or maybe they do love you really really deep down, either way they are jerks, and you shouldn't be wasting your time with them, period. You should be spending your time with someone who wouldn't say horrible things to you, even if they don't mean them.

I also love this part of Clarkson's song where she admits: "Being with you is so dysfunctional. I really shouldn't miss you, but I can't let you go. Oh yeah." And then she sings about how they belong together. I guess she's smart enough to recognize a dysfunctional relationship, but I hate how she glamorizes it, as if this type of relationship is something to strive for. Because, newsflash: it's not. If you haven't been sufficiently schooled by, I don't know, every single episode of "Ricki Lake" and "Jerry Springer," you should at least know that dysfunctional relationships are bad from other prominent examples in the news (shout out to Chris Brown & Rihanna).

And, of course, this stuff seems like a no-brainer to us "adults," but it isn't the same for little teenagers. I know because I had the pleasure of student teaching 14-year-olds for a few months, and I got to see firsthand just exactly how their little brains compute, especially in regards to music, because I had a Romeo and Juliet-based music assignment where I found out a lot about how their minds process messages in this medium.

Teenagers are not complete people yet; they are still being formed, and a large part of what forms them is the music they listen to. That's why I like my mid-to-late 90s music so much more than anything I've listened to in recent years -- that was the music that formed the person I am today. So, I think it's irresponsible for artists to send messages like this to impressionable young women, who are going to grow up believing, at least in some part, that a dysfunctional relationship is not only normal, but almost idyllic. They grow up thinking that hate is love, deep down. They grow up believing that the worse a guy treats them, the more the guy really wants them. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Kelly Clarkson sings, believably, that her life "would suck without" her on-again off-again boyfriend. I've been there, and she's not wrong, at least, at first. Life does suck without the horrible boyfriend: for about 1-4 weeks, but then it improves drastically. And then a guy who is not a jerk enters the picture, and then horrible boyfriend and the life that you've had with horrible boyfriend becomes nothing more than a bad memory, and then you're embarrassed that you ever thought that your life would suck without horrible boyfriend. It's too bad that this message wasn't included in the song. I guess it's not catchy enough.
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