Ruminations: Daya’s “Sit Still, Look Pretty”

Today’s post is a short musing on singer Daya’s recent song, “Sit Still, Look Pretty.” It is also the first installment in a new series called “Ruminations” that I’m starting here at But Why? to foster conversation and musings about songs, books, quotes, etc. Check it out:

I won’t lie — this song is catchy. This is exactly the sort of music I run to, and I like Daya’s “I don’t need a man” vibe. Romantic relationships aren’t the only thing in the world, and they shouldn’t be anyone’s sole focus.

What I’m not lovin’ is the second verse:

“That Snow White
She did right in her life
Had seven men to do the chores
‘Cause that’s not what a lady’s for.”

I agree — cleaning is NOT what a woman is for. But should we applaud Snow White for making men do it for her? Is that what a man is for? :/ Is anyone “too good” to perform chores like cleaning? Isn’t saying women are too good to clean, and therefore that men should do, also a sexist statement? (Not to mention the factual inaccuracy that Snow White WAS doing the chores for the dwarves…)

Regardless, those lyrics leave a bad taste in my mouth — cleaning isn’t what any human is for — but overall, I like the message that girls don’t need to sit still, look pretty, and wait for a man.

What do you think?

 

Thanks for joining me. Let me know you think about these lyrics OR the new “Ruminations” series in general in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you πŸ™‚

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50 thoughts on “Ruminations: Daya’s “Sit Still, Look Pretty”

  1. I agree but more importantly, I wouldn’t want my daughter’s (or any young woman)’s role model to be someone who cleans and falls asleep in random empty houses, accepts questionable produce from strange old women and falls for some stranger because he comes by and kisses her while she’s sleeping.

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  2. The song is annoyingly cathcy. But I think what Daya is trying to say is that women are more than props and do not have to adhere to societal and gender expectations. Maybe I’m just reading too much into the song, but that is what I get out of it.

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    • Definitely! I think she is saying that as well πŸ™‚ I just don’t like the Snow White part that much — the rest of the song is a great reminder that women shouldn’t have to sit still and look pretty.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah now this song is stuck in my head! I really wonder where she got her ideas about Snow White from. Another thing I’ve noticed about this song is how it tends to jump from “you don’t need a man or to conform to sexist stereotypes”-a very good, powerful, needed message-to “all men are shallow scum who just want a trophy wife and you’re better off without one.” I can see loving this song if I were single, or had just been dumped or disappointed by a guy, but it’s not fair to paint all men as terrible, or all relationships as a bad idea! It can be discouraging to search, but there really are good guys out there who will love and respect women. We can hardly expect men to respect feminism when it comes across as attacking them so often.

    Then again, I generally think there’s a limit to how much depth you can expect from a pop song-especially since Daya’s still pretty young (I think 17 when she wrote this song? If the whole world was exposed to my 17 year old poetry I doubt it would be much better!)

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    • Very true — not all men disrespect women, and that’s an important thing to note. They shouldn’t have a bad reputation just become other men don’t treat women right! Very good point πŸ™‚

      And right again — she’s young. I didn’t realize she was that young, but I remember the nonsense I wrote when I was 17 πŸ™‚

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  4. Music always plays with our emotions and allows us to make connections.The story of Snow White was always one that I found kind of weird but the dynamics of the relationships in the story could confuse anyone. I wasn’t familiar with this song (so I had to Google it πŸ™‚ ) but I love your insight into the lyrics. We don’t all need to sit around and wait for a man or woman to love us and we can all pull our weight when it comes to getting things done. Thank you for sharing!

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  5. Natalie, as always, reading your post was such a pleasure.

    I love your idea about prompting people to discuss books, music, etc. This is great!!!

    I also love your perspective on this song….I actually really agree with you. My husband and I have taken turns with the cleaning and cooking depending on who is working more, or what is going on in life at the time. I wouldn’t be comfortable with him doing it all…..

    πŸ™‚

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  6. Staying clean is an essential part of life. What is unacceptable is dividing it on gender lines. songs or movies or advertisements – so often they simply reinforce the stereotypes. good post.

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  7. Just like the song, you opened up the conversation about gender roles. While I personally do not think that one role is more suited for the other, I do believe that in a relationship this is something that needs to be defined in the beginning. If he wants someone to treat him like his mother, for example picking up after him, feeding him and take care of the children. Then you need to ask yourself if that is what you want as well. If you want someone to equally carry the load with you that needs to be established right away. And make sure that it remains clear, you are not someone’s mother or housekeeper. I do not agree with the song at all. Again I think it should be something you are comfortable with. Regardless of your feminist status.
    Great post! Great way to get people talking!

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  8. Great post! I’ve been thinking a lot about gender roles lately. Mostly because I find myself surrounded by men when it comes to spending time doing what I love to do. The older I get the more I find my female companions “nesting” instead of getting out and expressing themselves. It upsets me in a way I haven’t really been able to put into words.

    So I say screw cleaning and go be awesome! When it’s time to adult, tackle it as a team :).

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  9. I agree with you that the statement is rather sexist, since feminism isn’t about women hating on men and making them do all the cleaning and so on, it’s about equality. There should be no gender stereo types, but unfortunately they seem hard to get rid off. Great post!

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  10. I like that you’re challenging people to think! Interesting perspective. I whole-heartedly agree.

    No one sex or gender is lesser than another. Great post!

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  11. I agree, I believe the basis of any good relation is the free, un-judged sharing of information and responsibilities. No one should have to do the chores if they don’t want to, and since they’re 2 ppl in a relationship if you both don’t want to do the chores separately, then do them together, make a bonding session out of it.

    Sad to say but in our present society, you would expect that gender equality should already be a non-issue, but acid reflux, it always rears its ugly head when the ‘unwanted’ conditions are met.

    Good work, I’m really enjoying your posts!

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  12. Hi. This is my first time to hear Daya, and I liked it. I agree that the line is somehow sexist. I think they were trying to say how powerful a woman can be by tricking men in doing the work. Still thou, I never believed in that capability. A woman can always do much more.

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  13. Pingback: Ruminations: Are Labels Violent? | But Why?

  14. Because I have two teen/preteen daughters who listen to music all the time, I also ruminate about the music lyrics and the meaning behind them. I like this song, and I like it’s message. Your point about Snow White is valid, and a good discussion point for me to have with my kids.

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    • Wonderful! Getting people to talk with each other is what this Ruminations series is all about πŸ™‚ If you daughters have anything else to add to the subject, I’d love to hear it!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

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