How SZA`s “Ctrl” Depicts the Growing Pains of Womanhood

"That`s me, Miss 20 Something, ain`tgot nothing, running from love, wish it were here” sings SZA on one of her new songs titled “20 Something”. This sets the tone for the raw emotion displayed in her newest album, “Ctrl”.The album made its debut on June 9th of this year.I found that SZA`s albumdisplayed the growing pains that many women face when it comes to exploring womanhood.

She covers the struggle of self-worth, dealing with cheating, making mistakes, and finding a balance between being free and having control over your own life. A lot of the album shows atug-of-war mentality. SZA is fighting her deepest thoughts on this new album and many of us also struggle with our deepest thoughts.

The first song on the album called “Supermodel” stood out to me. “Supermodel” speaksabout thecomparison and self-consciousness that women can face in relationships. SZA says things many of us are afraid to admit that we may have felt once before. She says, “Wish I was comfortable just with myself” and “I don`t see myself”, which resonates with many of us.Along the same train of thought, SZA shows the mentality of womenseeking validation from men. It is incredibly honest and real, because this does happen.Although it is not a positive feeling, it is important to recognize.

Songs like “Normal Girl” and “Drew Barrymore” touch on the pressure of conforming to the idealgirl.  “Drew Barrymore” is a personal favorite.SZA uses Drew Barrymore as an archetype for the woman who does not conform to societal standards or fall under the definition of what a typical woman should be. SZAsays, “Am I not woman enough for you”, which challenges the patriarchal relationship in the world today. Throughout growing up, women constantly second-guess what it means to be a female. The perspective of some men tends to influence our decisions and misguide our ideas, which SZA draws attention to in “Drew Barrymore”. The album as a whole shows that it is okay not to fit that mold and to challenge previously set standards. In“Drew Barrymore” she talks about how she will never be that girl and tells others that it is okay being content with who you are.

Go Gina, Prom, and Anything tells girls to be free, and to enjoy life. Life is not meant to be controlled. I felt like the album was a way of telling girls that it`s okay to have gone through these situations and, in fact, normal. It is also okay to love yourself despite the opinions of others. Her honesty is compelling.The album reflects personal growth. Just like a flower, a person mustdevelop over time. Overall, the album was well put together, and it was a refreshing album to listen too. Honestly, I could go on and on with dissecting the lyrics and the symbolism in the album, but the best thing I can say is listen to it. You may find your story somewhere in the music.

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Article by Jada Lucas