So I just made the one-hour drive to Richmond and “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction played three times on three different stations. I know, so Spring 2012, but usually I just switch stations when I hear it come on, so I’ve never really heard the lyrics. This time there wasn’t anything on the country station, so I got to hear the poetical musicality of this wildly insightful song.
Essentially, this guy is singing about his girl, who is super beautiful, obviously. But! She doesn’t know it, and it only makes her more beautiful. In fact, that is exactly what makes her beautiful. Also, he likes it when she flips her hair. (I just went through the lyrics again and those are really the only two things he says about her.)
I’m being snarky on purpose, since I just hate this song, but I have definitely heard this sentiment before when talking about someone. “Oh, he’s so hot, but the best thing is, he doesn’t know it.” “She’s much nicer than someone that pretty needs to be, it makes her even more attractive.” Once again, that’s taking pretty-on-the-inside and translating it into pretty-on-the-outside. I’m glad this girl is being praised for not being conceited, but that’s a compliment enough without having to qualify it in units of beauty.
It would honestly be more accurate (and more flattering, probably) to say “You look good AND you managed to not be an asshole!” I don’t know if that’s quite as catchy, though. But if someone turns that into a hit single for the fall, you tell them you heard it here first.