Hailee Steinfeld’s “Love Myself” at first appears to be a simplistic though revolutionary pop declaration of self-care. However, with a brief lyrical analysis, the song quickly becomes something much deeper and much more revolutionary.
“Love Myself” is actually about masturbation.
The lyrics, which make blatant references to her touching the pain away as she plays pictures on repeat in her head, are subtle enough for conservative grandparents to sing along thinking the song is about a nonsexual form of self-love.
Picking up on feminist conversations regarding the need to address the orgasm gap, Steinfeld brilliantly created a popular music song which obscures its overlying message; she is happy with herself as she “knows how to scream [her] own name.”
As a subject that is largely avoided, bringing female pleasure into the mainstream audience shifts perspectives to one which sends the message: it’s healthy to love yourself, and for some people part of that self-love is masturbation.
Women expressing pleasure in a popular media is rare if not altogether invisible. Because pop culture is a huge influence and on many occasions serves as an educator, changing the all too common perspective that sex is mostly about male pleasure is a huge shift.
When Hailee declares that she knows how to satisfy herself even if a man hasn’t quite figured it out yet, she controls her own pleasure, and makes the statement that female orgasms are just as important as male ones.
In other words, stop the orgasm gap and practice self-love!