Why I Don’t Like Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are”

Everyone knows the song “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars. It’s been on the radio for years and is a catchy favorite.

I had heard this song before but had never seen the music video. Until a classmate included it in her presentation recently. At first, the lyrics made me feel good. The song made me think of similar songs, like the crazy popular hit “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction. But then I realized what message was being sent by this song—especially when it was combined with the music video.

The Implications

Basically, I think it was implied that guys will love you “just the way you are” if you let them see and use your body.

The scantily clad woman in the music video demonstrates this. Mars didn’t swoon over a woman in long jeans and a turtleneck; he swooned over the girl with a strappy shirt and shorty shorts. If a girl is dressed inappropriately like this, she’s sending a message to guys that she is available (for a relationship—and for sex).

So, did Bruno truly love that girl just the way she was? Or did he love her because she showed off her body to him?

The Questions

You may or may not be dating, but if you are, maybe you should consider these questions:

-Does your boyfriend love you “just the way you are” in your miniskirt and tight tank? Or does he love you even in an ankle-length skirt and loose t-shirt?

-Does he love you “just the way you are” if you kiss him every day? Or does he love you even if you want to save your first kiss for marriage?

-Does he love you “just the way you are” if you let him touch you too much and hold you too tightly? Or does he love you even if you tell him “no”?

You probably think I’m being a Debbie Downer about a love song that seems fairly clean and innocent, especially compared to others. I’m not saying that Bruno’s song contains explicitly sexual lyrics. But I’m saying that it may have an implicitly sexual message.

The Truth

Friends, we can’t let words and images flood into our minds carelessly. Every song, book, tv episode, and movie has a message. They all preach a sermon, just like a pastor in church. And I believe Bruno Mars was preaching that beautiful women are women who will wear their bodies on their sleeve.

Maybe I’m wrong. Hopefully, I am.

There’s just so much power in words and images. We can’t let them enter our minds without evaluating them first.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NASB)

Our minds can’t be renewed if we just take in everything we see and hear. That’s why it’s so important to evaluate secular—and even Christian—sources. Make sure worship songs are biblically sound. Notice the hidden messages in a popular movie. Analyze the author’s intent of including a certain chapter in a book.

We can swallow words like candy, but they will have an impact on us. The impact may be slight at first. But the more we listen to a song or watch a tv show or read a book, the more its subtle messages will start to change our beliefs and actions—whether for good or bad (Matthew 15:18-19).

So now you know why I don’t like Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are.” What do you think of it?

Lyrics from AZ Lyrics.

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