"When I Grow Up" (CD single)

Music review by
Jacqueline Rupp, Common Sense Media
"When I Grow Up" (CD single) Music Poster Image
Dream of getting rich is superficial.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 10 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The song's aspirations are all about becoming famous, rich, and desirable. "When I grow up I wanna see the world/drive nice cars/I wanna have groupies."


As with everything the Pussycat Dolls do, the video for the song is sexually charged, with the girls in barely-there costumes performing lots of grinding stripper dance moves. The song promotes the connection between being sexy and desirable and being successful.


The song promotes the media culture of fame and consumerism. "When I grow up/be on TV/people know me/be in magazines."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a song that's all about dreaming big. The Pussycat Dolls aspirations include driving nice cars, having groupies, and getting their face on TV and in magazines. The song promotes the old cliché that with little or no work, someone can rise to the top and enjoy superficial success. Parents should note that the video for this song is a bit risqué, with lots of flesh flashed about in the Dolls' trademark seductive dance sequences.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byclarence August 5, 2015
Kid, 11 years old May 25, 2009


OK, 15 and up??? R U KIDDING ME??????? THEY PERFORMED THIS AT THE KIDS CHOICE AWARDS!!!! COME ON PARENTS!! They say s**y twice but you can barely hear... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old September 9, 2020

All about reaching for your dreams

The message is simple: work hard and you can accomplish anything. Sure, the Dolls aren't exactly powerhouse vocalists, but it gets the point across.

What's the story?

\"WHEN I GROW UP\" is the first single off the Pussycat Dolls' sophomore album To Those Who Wait, due out in August. It details the dreams of the Dolls to be rich and famous (and don't forget sexy). The video for the song features the members of the group dancing around subway poles and on a ballet barre and straddling chairs -- usually while dressed in some form of lingerie.

Is it any good?

This first single off the Pussycat Dolls' new album finds the Dolls three years older but none the wiser. The song struggles right off with tense problems as the signers go back and forth between the present and past. Are the girls older and speaking about the past or are they pretending to be young? ("When I grow up/I wanna be famous/I wanna be a star/I wanna be in movies"). The only problem is the Pussycat Dolls have grown up, but they can't seem to break free of their immature desires.

The song unapologetically embraces the cult of fame that has become so pervasive in today's culture: "But I ain't complaining/we all wanna be famous/so go ahead and say what you wanna say/you know what it's like to be nameless/want them to know what your name is." Just remember, the song seems to say, it's not what you do or how well you do it, it's whether you get paid handsomely for it and become famous. Good advice if your goal is to dance around in your underwear for millions of people.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it means to be successful and what it means to be famous. What is the difference? Because someone is famous, does it automatically make them a success? Do famous people seem happier than average people? If you had to choose, would you rather be rich, famous, or successful?

Music details

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