It’s something that’s been written about before. Songs such as Britt Nicole’s crossover hit “Gold,” Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway,” or Beyonce’s “Listen” all have this recurring theme: inner beauty and what happens if you believe in yourself. The underlying message is even present within various forms of Disney media, such as the 2008 children’s song “Fly To Your Heart” by Selena Gomez. But a lot of these songs, despite being good, don’t often provoke very strong emotions while the individual is listening. With her new song, “Scars To Your Beautiful,“ Canadian alternative-pop/R&B artist Alessia Cara has done the complete opposite.
Since buying her debut album last week, I had been listening to the CD as background music while doing homework, etc, and had never really gotten the chance to listen to the lyrics closely. But when I finally got the chance to listen to the words in this particular song, I almost cried.
The lyrics open with a description of a struggle that many girls across the world experience. “She just wants to be beautiful.” It’s a question that everyone asks themselves at one time or another: what is it like to “be perfect”? In recent years, we as a society have created all these expectations of how people should look and act, and for some, it can be tough to navigate. In some cases, societal pressures may cause individuals to view themselves in a negative way… even causing many to go to extremes because of their dissatisfaction with their image in the mirror. Alessia illustrates this at several points in the song, stating near the beginning that “Maybe we have made her blind / So she tries to cover up her pain and cut her woes away / Cause covergirls don’t cry after their face is made…”
For a pop song that would likely be played on the radio, this is very heavy content. A change from some of the more generic self-empowerment anthems that have received airplay. What I understand from this song is that society– anything from peer pressure to the media– has made it hard for individuals to see their true value. And as someone who has struggled with finding my identity, I understand how hard it can be to realize that beauty goes deeper than the surface. I appreciate that Alessia wrote a song like this; a song that’s poignant, real, and from the heart. That’s how you know if an artist is really talented.
And in terms of the empowerment part of “Scars,” these lyrics, which practically summarize the meaning of the song, are my absolute favorites:
“So to all the girls who are hurting / Let me be your mirror, help you see a little bit clearer / The light that shines within / There’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark / You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are…“
If you want to hear this inspiring song for yourself, check out the video above. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. And remember you’re beautiful!