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Some Thoughts on Me! It's Going to be EVERYWHERE!

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Well, the old Taylor Swift is back with a catchy pop song that will be stuck in your head forever. Parents, take the time and listen to this song because you will hear it everywhere in the weeks to come. I have been in three stores today and have hear it a total of 6 times. It didn’t matter if it was the grocery store or just walking through the mall this song will be played by every radio station. It’s catchy, up-beat and I will say the overall message is good.

‘ME!’ is a song about embracing your individuality and really celebrating it and owning it.
— Taylor Swift to Robin Roberts

Taylor Swift was also aware of the power of a catchy song as she noted in the same interview posted on the Good Morning America website:


With a pop song, we have the ability to get a melody really stuck in people’s heads and I just want it to be one that makes them feel better about themselves.
— Taylor Swift

It’s going to be hard not to see Swift everywhere in the next little while as she was one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influencal People, as well as opening the Billboard Music Awards with a performance of ME! on May 1 as well as releasing her new single.

My best advice for parents is this. Read the lyrics and watch the video for ME! There will be no way to avoid this song so talk to your kids about it. It’s fun and if you are like me will find yourself singing along to it as you walk down the hall. Here are the lyrics for you:

[Intro: Taylor Swift]
I promise that you’ll never find another like me

[Verse 1: Taylor Swift]
I know that I’m a handful, baby, uh
I know I never think before I jump
And you’re the kind of guy the ladies want
(And there’s a lot of cool chicks out there)
I know that I went psycho on the phone
I never leave well enough alone
And trouble’s gonna follow where I go
(And there’s a lot of cool chicks out there)

[Pre-Chorus: Taylor Swift]
But one of these things is not like the others
Like a rainbow with all of the colors
Baby doll, when it comes to a lover
I promise that you’ll never find another like

[Chorus: Taylor Swift]
Me-e-e, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
I’m the only one of me
Baby, that’s the fun of me
Eeh-eeh-eeh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
You’re the only one of you
Baby, that’s the fun of you
And I promise that nobody’s gonna love you like me-e-e


[Verse 2: Brendon Urie & Taylor Swift]
I know I tend to make it about me
I know you never get just what you see
But I will never bore you, baby
(And there’s a lot of lame guys out there)
And when we had that fight out in the rain
You ran after me and called my name
I never wanna see you walk away
(And there’s a lot of lame guys out there)

[Pre-Chorus: Taylor Swift & Brendon Urie, Brendon Urie]
’Cause one of these things is not like the others
Livin’ in winter, I am your summer
Baby doll, when it comes to a lover
I promise that you’ll never find another like

[Chorus: Brendon Urie, Taylor Swift & Brendon Urie]
Me-e-e, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
I’m the only one of me
Let me keep you company
Eeh-eeh-eeh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
You’re the only one of you
Baby, that’s the fun of you
And I promise that nobody’s gonna love you like me-e-e

[Bridge: Brendon Urie, Taylor Swift & Both]
Hey, kids!
Spelling is fun!
Girl, there ain’t no I in “team”
But you know there is a “me”
Strike the band up, 1, 2, 3
I promise that you’ll never find another like me
Girl, there ain’t no I in “team”
But you know there is a “me”
And you can’t spell “awesome” without “me”
I promise that you’ll never find another like


[Chorus: Both, Taylor Swift & Brendon Urie]
Me-e-e (Yeah), ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh (And I want ya, baby)
I’m the only one of me (I’m the only one of me)
Baby, that’s the fun of me (Baby, that’s the fun of me)
Eeh-eeh-eeh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh (Oh)
You’re the only one of you (Oh)
Baby, that’s the fun of you
And I promise that nobody’s gonna love you like me-e-e

[Outro: Brendon Urie, Taylor Swift & Both]
Girl, there ain’t no I in “team” (Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
But you know there is a “me”
I’m the only one of me (Oh-oh)
Baby, that’s the fun of me
(Eeh-eeh-eeh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
Strike the band up, 1, 2, 3
You can’t spell “awesome” without “me”
You’re the only one of you
Baby, that’s the fun of you
And I promise that nobody’s gonna love you like me-e-e
— ME! by Taylor Swift



Some Thoughts on Media and Self-Image

Photo by  Kelly Sikkema  on  Unsplash

I spoke to the parents of our youth and kidmin ministries about a month ago on social media and how it forms every aspect of their kids’ lives. It was a great night and I have been processing many of the comments and questions that came out of that evening and then today I came across the following quote from Karamo Brown (from Queer Eye on Netflix).

The first time I realized my skin tone was “bad” was when I was playing Street Fighter... While 99 percent of the characters were white or Asian, all their evil twins were darker in skin tone. It was hard for me to play the game, because the characters were supposed to be twins ... yet the evil ones resembled black and Latino men.
— Karamo Brown: My Story of Embracing Purpose, Healing, and Hope

One of the questions that came out of this night was around whether or not media played a significant factor in the self-esteem on guys in particular. Karamo continues to share his thoughts:

One night after playing, I looked at myself in the mirror and wondered, I’m dark, just like the twins. Does that mean I’m evil? ...

I truly started to think, There is no way I can be a good guy in life. I can’t be the hero; I can only be the bad guy.... Of, course, it was a warped way of thinking, but at that point, the subliminal messaging from my favorite game had really started to affect my mind.
— Karamo Brown

I truly believe that as parents and leaders of children and youth we need to be reafirming who Christ made them to be. Media will always be a huge influencer in their life, but we can be the ones to help correct how they feel about themselves.

How did/has media made you question your identity?

Pop Culture Christians

Recently, I led a couple talks for youth and parents about holding fast to one’s faith while being surrounded by pop culture influences. Both talks were great opportunities to have open discussions about what the world expects versus what God expects of us. One thing that was shared with the parents was some food for thought – if we have biblical values, we will have biblical actions, which will help us differentiate biblical and world views

  1. Values
  2. Actions
  3. Worldview

The only way we can have these values, actions and this worldview is if we know the source - the Bible. If we address pop culture with this game plan, it helps us understand that our God is a God of right now. Most teens are trying to figure out how to live within their peer circles and still keep their faith. There is an urgency in their “need to know” as their world changes faster than ever before

The core values given to us is in Galatians 5:22-25. 

  •  Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness
  • Gentleness
  •  Self-control

When we can look at our lives and the media that we consume and participate in, we should be able to say that these values are present. When these values start to become blurred or not present is when we, as parents and leaders, need to step in and ask some steadying questions to anchor our youth back to their faith. For instance, inquire what is causing them to not live by the values that shape who we are as followers of Christ

Christ and many of His followers warn us to not be deceived by this world, or teachings that come from it. Their are also strict warnings not to deceive others (Colossians 2:8). Christ calls us to know the truth and teach it in love (Ephesians 4:14-16). I don't think we do a good job of this “teaching in love” as Christians. Many times, we feel that strong opinions and a firm comment of “Don't watch this, or “Don't do that, is the answer, but these responses tend to drive teens to explore and rebel deeper and harder than before. (I can personally say that I have been there and done that.) Conversations are key between parents and teens when it comes to pop culture. Explore with your kids what they are watching. Read the lyrics together as a family and ask yourselves what are the values on display, and do they align with the biblical values as a family and as individuals?

One way to look at the influence of culture is to read through 1 John as a family. Take time to notice the progression of walking out of the darkness and into the light. As a parent, the best thing you can do is be engaged with your kids regarding their choice in music, what is on TV and what movies are out, and know what sites and apps your kids use most. Try websites like Common Sense Media to get reviews on all things pop culture. For songs, simply Google the lyrics and have a read (because it’s hard catch the lyrics while listening to the song on the radio and trying to drive the kids to hockey practice). If you want a good book on this subject you can pick up Brett Ullman's book media.faith.cultre: Parents 101 here.

The best advice is not to disengage and strike your kids down with a “no,” but to engage deeply with your kids to show them that you are interested in what interests them. Then, if you need to lay down the ground rules and say no, they’ll respect the fact that you took the time to look into it in the first place. The pop culture talk is a tricky one to navigate because, for every family, it is slightly different, but having a conversion and being informed is the foundation for every kind of talk