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Rodrigo is the “All-American B*tch”

Olivia Rodrigo’s new “Guts” album sets the stage for a new Rodrigo era.
M. Armstrong
Rodrigo’s sophomore album is available on various streaming platforms, such as Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, etc.

I am light as a feather, I’m as stiff as a board. I pay attention to things that most people ignore.

On Sept. 8, Olivia Rodrigo released her second album, “Guts,” after success with her first album, “Sour,” released on May 21, 2021. 

“Guts,” produced by Dan Nigro and Geffen Records, features 12 songs and a taste of the new Rodrigo. While her child-like innocence and sweetness are present in “Sour,” “Guts” displays a much more mature, angry, and confident Rodrigo. 

In songs such as, “The Grudge,” “Bad Idea, Right,” and “All-American B*tch,” Rodrigo rocks out in her new-found confidence, losing the uncertain and apologetic tone of “Sour.” She no longer worries about if she is “Enough for You” as she does in “Sour,” and she is taking bigger strides than just “1 Step Forward, and 3 Steps Back.”

She relates to teenagers across the world, especially girls, with her comments on social media and the struggle to feel pretty in today’s society. Her songs simultaneously show the outside and inside perspectives of being a teenager and going through heartbreak. 

Unlike in “Sour,” Rodrigo does not hyperfocus on her famous breakup with Joshua Bassett. Instead, while still addressing toxic relationships and betrayal, she takes a more individualistic approach, affirming her self-worth and judging society rather than herself. 

I am built like a mother and a total machine. I feel for your every little issue, I know just what you mean. 

Rodrigo specifically dives into the unfairness of society’s expectations of teenagers and women. As a woman, it is not enough to be a full-time mother, and yet it is not okay to prioritize a job.

She struggles with being empathetic and helping others while she is also struggling and dealing with the inevitable obstacles of life. This is worsened by society’s definition of what a good person is and how a woman should act.  

Through her songs “All-American B*tch,” “Teenage Dream,” “Pretty isn’t Pretty,” and “Making the Bed,” Rodrigo explores the double standards and hypocrisy of society’s expectations for women.

She admits to feeling incapable of doing the right thing all the time because her “life feels so out of control,” according to “Making the Bed.” 

However, Rodrigo does not complain about these standards. 

She makes fun of them. 

With sarcasm and humorous song lyrics, Rodrigo reveals that she does not care who people want her to be. In this new Rodrigo era, she is stubbornly and imperfectly herself. 

I’m grateful all the time. I’m sexy, and I’m kind. I’m pretty when I cry. 

As a singer, daughter, and young woman, Rodrigo juggles many roles, similar to most teenagers. Because of this, she is expected to be grateful, sexy, kind, and pretty at all times. 

With the influence and inescapable presence of social media, teenagers are constantly surrounded by beauty standards, influencers, and popular trends. 

Rodrigo explains that being surrounded by all of this is exhausting. She rejects expectations and unapologetically stands her ground. 

In her song “Pretty isn’t Pretty,” Rodrigo is honest and open about her own insecurities, directly commenting, “I could change up my body and change up my face… but I’d always feel the same ‘cause pretty isn’t pretty enough anyway.”

She uses the influence and power of her music to expose the reality of expectations and what it is like to live in today’s world, relating her music to young people worldwide and teaching confidence. 

While many artists strive to relate to their listeners, claiming that they are just like them because “celebrities are people too,” many fail to achieve this. 

Rodrigo, on the other hand, successfully comes off as genuinely just as frustrated and confused by the world as many young people and teenagers are. Her songs show how she does not hide behind insecurities or arrogance. 

Instead, she embraces her insecurities and makes fun of people’s arrogance.

I’m a perfect all-American b*tch with perfect all-American lips and perfect all-American hips. 

“Guts” is the epitome of life as a teenage girl, and it is the perfect album for a private concert in your car and a therapeutic cry session.

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About the Contributor
Maggie Armstrong
Maggie Armstrong, Editor-in-Chief
Maggie Armstrong is an Editor-in-Chief of The Voice, and it is her third year on staff. In her free time, Maggie reads, takes ballet and pointe classes, and coaches Sparkle Squad at HCA. She loves spending time with family and friends.

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