There’s an age-old tradition of young actors and actresses signing record deals and making mediocre records (although, Hilary Duff’s So Yesterday is an exception), so I was completely unsurprised when I heard that Hailee Steinfeld was coming out with a new single. If you don’t know Steinfeld, she’s the girl that got nominated for an Oscar at age 13 and recently voiced the role of Anna in Studio Ghibli’s farewell film, When Marnie Was There. But more importantly, she just released a song that is a serious game changer.
The song is called “Love Myself,” and it features two of my favorite things, loving yourself and masturbation (yes, masturbation!). The chorus is upbeat and positive and catchy, and it repeats, “I love me/Gonna love myself, no, I don’t need anybody else.” This in itself is great. In a society that tells young women that they should love everybody except themselves, it’s really important for girls to see other girls loving themselves out loud.
The other incredible part of this song is that it not-so-subtly references masturbation. A lot. My favorite of these references is, “I’m gonna touch the pain away/I know how to scream my own name.” Hailee Steinfeld, you are my hero.
There is a huge amount of stigma around women masturbating, especially young women. Hailee is 18, so her audience is most likely those young women who are getting shamed for wanting to explore their bodies. We’ve all been told that it’s dirty or unladylike to figure out how we like to be touched, and now we have a very public figure loudly proclaiming that she’s not ashamed to love herself, both literally and figuratively. She takes it even further by declaring that she don’t need no man (or woman or anybody); she “know[s] how to satisfy” herself and “the beautiful, it comes without [anybody else.]” She’s talking about orgasms, right?
Hailee, I am so proud of you. You’re taking your fame and putting it to good use. Girls everywhere will look up to you. Hell, I look up to you. You just told the whole world you masturbate and you’re not ashamed of it. You’re a rockstar and I look forward to seeing all that you become.
And everybody else, give this song a listen. And remember, you’re awesome and you deserve to love yourself.