Pink (or P!nk) plays by her own rules–and that’s not something to trivialize, especially in a summer where it feels like women and marginalized people are silenced and ignored or belittled for being who they are.
In Pink‘s case, she’s a proud Jewish mom who has taken some time off to raise her family (she just gave birth to her second child in December 2016), she’s finally back. Her new hit song is appropriately titled “What About Us.” The title song of the album says it all: It’s full of disappointment, despair, and the “broken happy-ever-afters and plans that never went anywhere.”
The thing is, I don’t normally love pop beats–and I don’t say this as a snobbery thing (I admit, I’m more in Billie and Nina).
But there is something amazing that happened to Pink in this song. She’s older, more mature, wiser, and more willing to express her vulnerability, as opposed to being the tough chick. When she sings, “Are you ready? I don’t want control, I want to let go,” I believe her. And I want to be there with her.
The song is on her seventh album “Beautiful Trauma,” due out on October 13, according to an Instagram post she shared, and it’s an effort she is “certifiably, insanely proud of.” It’s been five years since her last album, so it’s been long-awaited for fans.
In a world full of glittery, lean images of women, Pink defies standard gender stereotypes: Her signature short hair, her give no f*cks lyrics (“I’m a slut like you”), the fact that she is honest about not losing baby weight, her candidness about her marriage’s ups and downs, and even just the fact that she proposed to her now-husband Carey Hart.
Even in her song “Sober,” she opens up with a fierceness that many don’t:
“I don’t wanna be the girl who laughs the loudest
Or the girl who never wants to be alone
I don’t wanna be that call at 4 o’clock in the morning
‘Cos I’m the only one you know in the world that won’t be home”
While Pink is not a typical source of inspiration for me (and I’m not a huge celebrity person), she is inspiring me right now.
Just yesterday, she opened up about her fears and feelings about being a Jewish woman during a particularly harsh and anti-Semitic and racist climate:
It’s incredible to watch neo-nazis march in 2017, while I, a Jewish woman, headline a show in Berlin where these tunnels were built by him, built curvy so he couldn’t be shot in the back. I walked through this tunnel to get to stage while people just like him marched in Charlottesville. My heart aches for the amount of hatred in this world. But in this place, where so many awful things happened once upon a time, here we are together in Berlin. People of all walks of life celebrating together. He didn’t win. Hate didn’t win here and this show, all of us on stage and in the audience together, we are a living testament to that. This city of Berlin is full of beautiful, loving people who accept me for who I am. The world is still full of beautiful people. Hate will not win if we don’t let it. It’s up to each of us to choose love and acceptance. This is an old war that’s already been lost. They will not win. RIP Heather Heyer 🙏
It’s hard not to love a person who encourages strength, for instance:
And makes time for family:
My mama grew up in Atlantic City. Every weekend she would go to Tony’s Baltimore Grill with her parents for fried shrimp and pizza. I remember going there with my grandparents almost every weekend from the time I was Willows age or younger. My grandpop was always very proud of me, and he woulda been a very proud local boy last night. Only right that we end the night at Tony’s. When we left everyone clapped, my mom cried, and I felt like I spent a moment with my grandpop. Thanks, Atlantic City. #eastcoasterforlife #misshim #memories
So, really, Pink is one of those pop stars I’ve been waiting for all along. And she’s here, and she’s been here. Let’s listen to her.