Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hide the real you?

In the past month or so, I've had the pleasure of watching two of my favorite movies: Summer Magic (an old Disney movie), and The Sound of Music. I love musicals, and both of these films have some great songs. Another thing they have in common is that they each contain one song that could be considered either sexist or hilarious, depending on how you look at it.

Personally, I think they're hilarious. But after having gone a long time between viewings, I have to admit being a little shocked upon hearing them again recently! I like to think they're tongue-in-cheek, but that hasn't been confirmed. That's just what I tell myself so I don't take them too seriously.

Which song do you think is worse (or better, as the case may be)? Here are the lyrics. If you'd like to see a clip, click on the name of the song. Do you find either (or both) offensive? More importantly, do you think they'd actually help a single woman find a beau? I'm not asking for myself. A friend wants to know.

"Femininity" from Summer Magic

You must walk feminine
Talk feminine
Smile and beguile feminine
Utilize your femininity
That's what every girl should know, if she wants to catch a beau

Dance feminine
Glance feminine
Act shy and sigh feminine
Compliment his masculinity
That's what every girl should know, if she wants to catch a beau

Let him do the talking
Men adore good listeners

Laugh, but not too loudly
If he should choose to tell a joke
Be radiant, but delicate
Memorize the rules of etiquette
Be demure, sweet and pure
Hide the real you

You must look feminine
Dress feminine
You're at your best feminine
Emphasize your femininity
That's what every girl should know
Femininity, femininity
That's the way to catch a beau

"16 Going on 17" from The Sound of Music
You wait little girl
On an empty stage
For fate to turn the light on

Your life little girl
is an empty page
that men will want to write on

To write on

You are 16 going on 17
Baby its time to think
Better beware
Be canny and careful
Baby you're on the brink

You are 16 going on 17
Fellows will fall in line
Eager young lads
And grueways and cads
Will offer you fruit and wine

Totally unprepared are you
To face a world of men
Timid and shy and scared are you
Of things beyond your ken

You need someone

Older and wiser
Telling you what to do
I am 17 going on 18
I'll take care of you

I am 16 going on 17
I know that i'm naive
Fellows I meet may tell me I'm sweet
And willingly I believe

I am 16 going on 17 innocent as a rose
Bachelor dandies
Drinkers of brandies
What do I know of those

Totally unprepared am I
To face a world of men
Timid and shy and scared am I
Of things beyond my ken

I need someone
Older and wiser
Telling me what to do
You are 17 going on 18
I'll depend on you


Kathy said...

Since I am EXTREMELY partial to the Sound of Music, I would have to say the Femininity song is worse. "Hide the real you"??!! Sounds like someone has some crazy lurking within that's gonna be unleashed on a poor unsuspecting gentleman that just said "I do".

I find no fault what-so-ever in Rolf or Leisl. Having been under the iron fist of Capt. Von Trapp, she is totally unprepared to face a world of men. He's just stating a fact. Sigh. Love that movie.

Elizabeth Downie said...

Sorry Kathy, I forgot that you and Alex sang that to each other at your wedding.

Kathy said...

How could you forget? Alex sounded just like Rolf when he sang to me...he has the voice of an angel.

Heather said...

In high school I sang "16 going on 17" for an audition and I remember at the time thinking "WHAT THE CRAP!" I remember thinking "He sings the first part and then she pretty much just sings it back to him all lovey dovey like she's been brainwashed. Seems a little shady to me.
Also, i love summer magic. I think that song is hilarious. I'm thinking that the real show stopper of a song that might have some hidden meaning is "Ugly bug ball" Chew on that for a minute....

Angela Baillio (Fernandez) said...

Eee-Gad!! I NEVER listened to the lyrics closely. Reading them is pretty powerful and gives me a different message. I suppose it can be interpreted w/ different lenses. The lens I was viewing them under is called "feminist" but I can certainly look at them w/ Kathy's vantagepoint and understand why she loves it.

Mike said...

Hmmm, well, I don't know summer magic, but I'm going to have to vote for that song, completely based on the line "Compliment his masculinity". Trust me Elizabeth, that one will help you find a beau...which wikipedia tells me is a specialist twelve-string guitar player (

D said...

That Femininity song is definitely over the top. wow! Hide the real you - yikes!
The Sound of music one is mainly just stating the facts until the end when they sing about he's older and wiser and needs to take care of her. But that's just young love.

kawah stowahs said...

That femininity song is hilarious! I've never seen summer magic - but from the clip the real key, I think, is learning how to walk with a book on your head. We should practice that sometime, I think that what's really keeping us from catching a beau.

Elizabeth Downie said...

Kara, I agree. And I think we should practice it while wearing our Snuggies. ;)

Katherine said...

I think I'd have to say that "16 Going On 17" is worse. I s'pose I understand the whole Leisl-being-too-sheltered-to-know-better thing, but I feel like she's too helpless, looking to Rolph as the one who's going to teach her the ways of the world...spew. ;) Plus maybe I just love "Summer Magic" so much that I'm willing to look past that song. It's so ridiculous!! Besides, "Femininity" is the way you hook him, then you can drop the act.

I've revealed too much.

Sarah said...

I used to sing "16 going on 17" around the house back in the day and did find the lyrics a bit annoying at the time, like some dude one year older is SOOO much wiser...blah!! And, the other song, which I'd never heard before, is, hopefully tongue-in-cheek, in which case I really like it. :)

Polly Anna said...

Both are hilarious and exstremely sexist. I don't understand why everyone is defending Rolf, Isn't the the natzi jerk who betrays them? Besides now and days everyone knows what girls are more mature than boys by like two years. So, i'm not convinced that Rolf id really that much wiser.

Elizabeth Downie said...

Yeah, I'm with you. Kathy's comment was really narrow minded. Her love of Rolf and Leisl has blinded her to the sexism of the song. Nice, Kathy. Nice.

Liz said...

I do love Hailey Mills, but that femininity song was just crazy.