"If I Were a Boy" (CD Single)

Music review by
Denise Duval, Common Sense Media
"If I Were a Boy" (CD Single) Music Poster Image
Popular with kids
Beyonce wears the pants in this soulful ballad.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 12 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

The song is about stepping into another person's shoes to see things from their side, but it could also promote some gender stereotypes.


References to flirting and being unfaithful, but nothing explicit.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One reference to beer: "Drink beer with the guys/And chase after girls."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this contemplative, somewhat cynical ballad is the first single from Beyonce's album scheduled for release in November 2008. The song references stereotypical "guy" behavior, and there are some references to cheating and infidelity (and one reference to beer), but overall the lyrics are age-appropriate for kids.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bythebigboss February 4, 2015

Nice song and message, but somewhat sexist

"If I were a boy" is a song by beyonce that tells of one stepping into the other gender's shoes. It has a nice beat, but I think that it promotes... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old July 26, 2020

Expose about how boys have more rights

This shines light on how arbitrary gender is, but how much impact it can have. Great for kids and tweens.
Kid, 12 years old March 30, 2011

If I Were a Boy...

It's all about seeing things from a new perspective, and I can relate to Beyonce' here because, being a tomboy, I sometimes wonder what it's like... Continue reading

What's the story?

IF I WERE A BOY is a departure from Beyonce's typical big, sassy sound. She's in a contemplative, wistful mood as she considers all the things she'd get up to if she were a guy -- like rolling out of bed and throwing on any old thing, drinking beer with the dudes, flirting, pulling the \"my cell phone wasn't working\" excuse. Then she muses about the fact that she'd make a better man because she's been on the other side and knows how it feels to be hurt.

Is it any good?

Beyonce fans more into booty-shaking dance floor tracks might find this a little delicate; there's a hint of cynicism and bitterness here. But it's good to see the Queen Bee doing something different, even if "If I Were a Boy" seems a tad bland as a stand-alone single. It's sweet, the vocals are strong, and it might be a perfect foil for some of the other stuff on the new album.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the issue at the heart of the song. If you could put yourself in a guy or girl's shoes for a day, do you think you'd treat members of the opposite sex differently? Do you think the song promotes gender stereotypes? Are boys that different than girls when it comes to relationships? Families can also talk about how this song is different from Beyonce's other music. Does this understated song seem like an unusual choice for an album's first single?

Music details

  • Artist: Beyonce Knowles
  • Release date: October 9, 2008
  • Label: Columbia
  • Genre: R&B/Pop
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: July 15, 2015

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