MusicSex & Gender
how nikki lynette’s ‘manic pixie dream girl’ album helped me further understand the #menaretrash movement
By Gender Bent
October 26, 2017
By Lightning Pill, AFROPUNK Contributor
“It’s a full time job fuckin’ loving yourself/Niggas try to rob a bitch for her self worth and her mental health” – Junglepussy “Bling Bling”
“Baby, I don’t hate men/Just all the things they do
Baby, I don’t hate men/Maybe I just hate you” – Bratmobile “What’s Wrong With You?”
If you were me, you heard those words, and probably thought it was due to the men in power who make laws about women’s rights and access to female health products. You thought it was due to those making rap music who will brag about fucking your bitch before calling her a THOT. (Don’t act like that reference didn’t speed by you.)
(Manic Pixie Dream Girl) by Nikki Lynette
You thought of your father who once beat up your mom, and possibly also beat you up also. You thought of Brock Turner and Martin Shkreli. And you watched men all over Twitter squirm like earthworms trying to prove to women that it is a bullshit or generalist statement (much like they had to go through when the MGTOW movement was a thing, mind you).
You thought of everything, but what women had to go through in order to feel the need to say that.
The rapes, the criticism that comes with being open with their sexuality (sometimes only for the men), to downplay their intelligence or their quirkiness, to be somebody in order to even stand directly in front of a man, let alone fight for the respect of a man.
Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a first part of a three part album trilogy that chronicles a woman trying to make herself up only to find out it wasn’t enough. To understand this album is to first know the meaning of the trope.
A manic pixie dream girl is the kind of woman made to be the “perfect woman” to a man or woman. Normally, you don’t see the darkness of such wish, but MPDG lays it bare using pop rock that would transport you all the way back to the mid-90s.
From “Bad For You”, which is drenched from tip to tail in sex appeal to the direct and defiant “Girls Like Me”, you would think the album is just about a woman having fun, owning her mind and owning her sexuality. The truth is the album is an EP-long version of Sia’s “Chandelier” with guitars and a more specific plot twist. Or “The Plot Twist”, as the ender would be called.
While I won’t give away the full ending, it would behoove you to listen to both the message on top and, if you can, the intense fight beneath it as Nikki bellows the most important line from it: “I changed for you! I changed for you!”
With that very line and the intense fight that ensued, Nikki unknowingly painted the picture that many black women had been looking to: of a man who demands a lot personality-wise from a woman only to never be satisfied or never fully realize how much they are playing with the life and the self-esteem of a complex human being, and the woman who would do anything for her or a man, only to find out it was not only in vain, but very opposite to who she really is as a person.
That very struggle peaks its head out easily in “From Heaven to Here”. Nikki teaches us that the Manic Pixie Dream Girl character is about being the kind of girl that that everybody likes to be around, even though she might not want to personally. It’s about being the kind of girl that a man would love to be like… only to find out that she is in danger of becoming both lauded and hated in equal measure by those demanding such ideas.
That’s where the word “Manic” comes into play because you are literally in a battle for your self-worth by balancing being who you are and the girl that everybody likes.
Every time a girl watches rap videos assuming certain girls are what men likes, they find out in real life that those girls are used and thrown away for other types, never to be respected like how she wished to be.
Manic Pixie Dream Girl sings the laments sweetly and confidently about being broken, manhandled and thrown away all for a wayward love that wasn’t her own, if it was considered love at all. The saddest part about the album? It’s only the beginning. Just wait till Chronicles of a Crazy B!+Ch drops.
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