Pop music’s not just for teenagers

Teenage girls can never catch a break.

It seems that any genre of music girls like is usually considered to be subpar compared the music tastes of other genders. This is particularly true in the case of pop music.

Because of its association to teen girls, who are already stereotyped in a variety of negative ways, the genre is seen as having songs with talentless singers and ditzy, meaningless lyrics.

To critics, it is not “real music” because apparently music can’t be good unless it’s filled with traditional musical instruments and complex metaphors and meanings.

But liking indie music with “real lyrics” over the bubblegum pop played on the radio doesn’t automatically make a person deep or philosophical. I know the pop genre is generally simple with its cheesy and repetitive lyrics that anyone can relate to, but that’s exactly why I find it enjoyable.

Pop music is popular for a reason, people like it. The backlash it receives is ridiculous. I’ve even had my share of criticisms against the genre in the past. All throughout high school I was just as cynical and angry at mainstream music, claiming that the “underground” sound that I knew was far superior to that of pop music.

Even without the pretensions of the underground, pop isn’t as simple as it seems on the surface. For example, Sia’s “Chandelier,” despite its upbeat tempo, tells of the singer’s own struggles with alcoholism and depression.

That being said, not every song has to have a deeper meaning. Artists often use songwriting as an escape from their problems or feelings. As a songwriter, it’s too much pressure to be expected to write about the deep sorrows of life in order to create “real music.” In many cases the inspiration for a song comes from the happiness within life.

While writing about hardships can be freeing and relatable on a more emotional level, writing entertaining and catchy lyrics is also a way to bring people together through dance and happiness.

Just because a genre is typically linked to a young female audience, does not mean someone of any gender should feel embarrassed to like it.

When boy bands like the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC were popular, men all over the world were publicly stating their annoyance for the groups while secretly jamming to “Bye Bye Bye” in their bedrooms when they thought no one was listening.

There’s no need for pop music to be someone’s guilty pleasure. Go on, like and embrace pop music as the fun and exhilarating genre that it is.