She's So Unusual

Music review by
Blair Jackson, Common Sense Media
She's So Unusual Music Poster Image
Irresistible '80s pop rockers and ballads from quirky star.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Though there is relationship trouble brewing in several songs, the Lauper character is unfailingly well-intentioned and honest with her mate (or would-be mate). "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" finds her trying to reassure her judgmental parents that it's fine to want to go out with her girlfriends and have a good time to blow off a little steam. She also distinguishes herself from the "beautiful girls" who are sometimes hidden away by their boyfriends, noting: "I want to be the one who walks in the sun." "Time After Time" is a tender love ballad.

Positive Role Models & Representations

For nearly three decades, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" has been embraced as an anthem by girls and women for its implicit message that they can have fun without boys or parents, and whether they are pretty or not.  

Violence
Sex

The Top 5 hit single  "She Bop" has been widely interpreted by many as being about masturbation, though there is nothing overt. Rather, there are mildly risque implications about self-pleasuring: "I've been thinking of a new sensation / I'm picking up good vibrations"; "They say I better stop, or I'll go blind"; and "They say I better get a chaperone / Because I can't stop messin' with the danger zone." The Prince song "When You Were Mine" has a reference to a possible threesome: "When he was there sleepin' in between the two of us."

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

In "I'll Kiss You," the main character goes down to the local gypsy woman to get love potion No. 9 because last time she gave her love potion No. 8 and it didn't help her get up the courage to go after the man she is interested in. Not exactly hardcore drug use.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that She's So Unusual has mostly good, clean, fun songs, although the hit "She Bop" appears to be about masturbation -- but its innuendo will probably go over the heads of young listeners -- and one line in the Prince song "When You Were Mine" hints at a threesome. She's So Unusual is one of the best-selling albums of all time, and the first by a female artist to produce four Top Five singles: the infectious "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," the ballad "Time After Time" (which has become a modern standard, covered by everyone from Mariah Carey to Miles Davis; more than 120 different artists), "She Bop," and "All Through the Night." Cyndi Lauper was one of the first big stars of the MTV era, and her unique and unusual visual style -- crazy hair and clothes -- and ebullient personality made her stand out from other singers of the early and mid-'80s.

User Reviews

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Teen, 17 years old Written bymoviewannabe January 4, 2014

Not a bad album

Cyndi Lauper's not bad of an 1980s pop singer. The only songs by Cyndi Lauper from this album I'm familiar with are "Girls Just Want To Have Fun... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old June 12, 2014

Great songs, themes better than nowadays

I have to say, that even though I'm ten (in sixth grade), I still listen and love Cydni Lauper's songs. They don't have any language and the them... Continue reading

What's the story?

One of the most popular albums of the early 1980s, thanks largely to the popularity of \"Girls Just Want to Have Fun\" and \"She Bop\" on radio and MTV, She's So Unusual made Cyndi Lauper a huge star. Though she has had other hits through the years, and is now regarded as a \"classic\" artist, she never topped this debut album.

Is it any good?

Catchy early 1980s pop feels a little dated in places, but there are enough strong songs -- some written by Lauper herself -- and enough variety in mood and style to make it a solid and satisfying listening experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what the song means when Cyndi Lauper sings "Girls just want to have fun." 

  • Why do you think Cyndi Lauper had such a distinctive look? Do you think it's important for a recording artist to look "different"? 

  • Cyndi Lauper was one of the first big stars of the MTV era, proving how music videos can help artists become popular. Does a good video make you like a song more? 

Music details

  • Artist: Cyndi Lauper
  • Release date: October 14, 1983
  • Type: Album
  • Label: Epic
  • Genre: Pop
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No

For kids who love teen music

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