When One Direction sings, “you don’t know you’re beautiful/ that’s what makes you beautiful,” aren’t they basically dooming the person they’re singing to? As in, now that they’ve told her she’s beautiful, can she still be beautiful? Certainly, many people can be told they’re beautiful without turning into arrogant jerks about it, but the implication in this song seems to be that this person’s lack of self-awareness is essential to her beauty. It’s not one of many things that make her beautiful- it’s just “that’s what makes you beautiful.” And if that is in fact the implication, then One Direction destroyed her beauty the moment they told her about it. (Were they naive? Or did they have ulterior motives?) Of course, if her beauty actually depended on her not knowing about it, then it seems like an awfully flimsy kind of beauty. So could she really have been all that beautiful in the first place?
Joseph P. O’Brien
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