She's So Unusual

Common Sense Media says

Irresistible '80s pop rockers and ballads from quirky star.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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

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
Not applicable
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
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
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.

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.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

This review of She's So Unusual was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 17 years old Written bymoviewannabe January 4, 2014
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

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" and "Time After Time". My parents don't really like Cyndi Lauper because they think she's overrated. I really like music from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s whether it would rock 'n' roll, pop, dance, soul or R&B. The song "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" was heard in the "Family Guy" episode "Life of Brian" when all the girls in the house start a pillow fight after the 1920 election and was heard in the Super Mario Bros. Super Show live action segment "Captain Lou is Missing" when Mario and Luigi were listening to "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" on the radio, then later get a message on the radio that Lou Albano is missing. And, yes, I'm including history of music usage on Common Sense Media review.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Kid, 11 years old June 12, 2014
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

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 themes are WAY WAY better than some songs you hear on the radio, plus they even have messages like in True Colors.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?
Thanks – we appreciate your feedback!

Essential School Tools