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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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Kelly's song ticks me off too. Also, Twilight makes me barf for the same reasons. Thank you for this rant.

I have a friend who is living that song right now. It is infuriating/annoying etc. So basically this rant is right on.

I know. It's so easy for us to stand on the outside and know exactly what to do. :-) I had a friend who went through something like this just recently, and it was very hard for me to be patient with her.

What's frustrating is that she knows what to do, but she keeps doing the opposite. But whatever. That is her drama and not mine.

Exactly. My friend was the same way. She kept on trying to be all frustrated with her boyfriend like it was his fault, but when I got her to tell me the entire situation, it was that she wasn't being honest with him. And then she wanted me to be like, "yeah, that jerk! What is he thinking?" And I was like, "I can't be like that anymore because I know what he's thinking. He's thinking he still has a shot because you keep on sending mixed signals." Anyhow, they finally broke up for good, so that made me really happy. I hope your friend wises up.


How about You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You? That's a great message right there.

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It's not the best message, but I'm of the opinion that singers shouldn't automatically be considered role models in the first place, and they shouldn't have to stifle their creativity just to make sure they always deliver the "right" message to kids. It's up to parents to keep track of what their kids are listening to -- even a simple, "This song is so catchy, but I can't believe she'd take back a guy who treated her like that" from a mom would go a long way.

I don't completely disagree with your assessment, but I think there are many artists out there who deserve this kind of rant far more than Kelly does -- she's generally one of the least-skanky, most mature young artists around. And she's 27 years old now and not really an artist I'd consider big with the young, impressionable girls -- if this song was coming from Miley Cyrus or one of the HSM kids, I'd be more inclined to agree with you.

That said, Kelly's next single from the new album is called "I Do Not Hook Up," and is all about taking things slow. The third single will apparently be "Already Gone," which is about maturely ending a relationship that's not working. Both of those send a good message.

Also, Twilight sucks. Now there's something that, unlike Kelly's music, is directly aimed at young girls, and which romanticizes a much more dysfunctional relationship than the one touched on in "My Life Would Suck Without You." I shudder when I think about young girls pining for a guy like Edward.

I have always been of the opinion that parents should take more of an active role in what their children consume in terms of media. That's why I have always been anti-government policing when it comes to television and video game content (USA seems to think it is the government's responsibility). Parents should monitor the music that their children listen to, but it's always easier said than done.

While I don't think that it's necessarily vital for artists to be role models and always promote positive messages, I'm still of the opinion that it is irresponsible to blatantly promote behavior and attitudes that will get kids into trouble, something on which I believe we both agree.

Thanks for the enlightenment in regards to Kelly Clarkson. I'm glad that she's doing good stuff with her other songs. :-) I also agree that other artists are a lot worse, but surfing the web, I found this song, and it just pushed my buttons the wrong way.

I'm glad we both agree about "Twilight." That is truly shudder-inducing -- that Edward is set up as a measure of perfection, when in reality he is nothing more than an immature, insecure, controlling egomaniac. Great job, Stephenie Meyer!

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