By Lauren Lee and Lillian Patterson
“Faces” is about the way young women view themselves in a world that presents a single standard of beauty. These lyrics push back against those barriers and question the value systems from which they originate.
Five pretty girls Their eyes glued to their faces All think they’re ugly All compare their faces With the most delicate of hand They take their black liners Dash them across soft skin Above, below as though they are designers They paint a picture Big eyes and big lips They want thin waists And Kardashian hips I don’t need no faces I’m embracing, they’ve no basis on me No faces, can’t erase me, you’ll see Even with makeup They still see blemishes Nobody can give them confidence Watch as their makeup diminishes With each dab, each smear, each line They all become a little more the same Blended into one idea of beauty They’re all chasing fame But that's just the minds of girls in the city They paint a picture Big eyes and big lips They want thin waists And Kardashian hips I don’t need no faces I’m embracing, they’ve no basis on me No faces, can’t erase me, you’ll see Oh darling you’re pretty You’re more than enough There's more than just faces I know that it's tough Oh darling you’re strong Need no mask to protect you You need good thoughts in your head That makeup won’t change you They paint a picture Big eyes and big lips They want thin waists And Kardashian hips I don’t need no faces I’m embracing, they’ve no basis on me No faces, can’t erase me, you’ll see I want to throw my brush away Forgot what they always say Don’t care what people say
“Faces” was first conceived as a written exploration of a photograph called “High School Seniors,” an image shot by famed photographer Lauren Greenfield. In its first iteration, the writing took the form of two poems, which we wrote individually. We shared the two poems, discussed them, kept the parts we both felt confident with and began to transform the merged poems into lyrics. We employed the use of rhyme, edited for flow and then delved back in to create a chorus and a bridge. “Faces” did not reach its final form until we composed and mixed the music that would accompany the lyrics. This was a new process for us both, but over the span of five weeks we were able to produce a song that we felt proud of given this was our very first composition. We both hope that “Faces” provokes questions about Western standards of beauty and the importance of embracing all that makes us individuals.
Lauren Lee is a high school junior in Manhattan, New York. Based in Brooklyn, she is a writer who loves experimenting with new styles and genres; especially poetry and essay writing. She enjoys incorporating her own personal history and highlighting the experiences of other Asian Americans in her stories. Her pieces have been published in the Girls Write Now Anthology and the Stuyvesant Spectator. She has received Honorable Mention for poetry in 2021 in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. In her free time, she loves playing tennis, debating and baking.
Lillian is a Brooklyn based nonfiction writer. She holds a Bachelor of Literature and Creative Writing from Bard College, and a Master of Fine Art in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin. She works as an Archival Producer and Research Consultant on a variety of documentary films. Her writing can be found in the journals, Litro, The Broken Spiral, Spontaneity, and ArtPublika. She is writing her first autobiographical novel.
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