Meaning of “​brutal” by Olivia Rodrigo

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

“​brutal” by Olivia Rodrigo captures the raw, unfiltered emotions and struggles of teenage life. The song resonates deeply with the frustrations and insecurities that come with growing up. Rodrigo articulates feelings of inadequacy, pressure to conform, and the desire for genuine connections in a world that often feels superficial and unforgiving.

The song confronts the idealization of youth, challenging the notion that these are the ‘golden years.’ It’s a candid expression of the emotional turbulence of adolescence, from self-doubt to the relentless pursuit of acceptance. “​brutal” is a powerful anthem for anyone who’s felt overwhelmed by the expectations and complexities of growing up.

Dive into the intense and relatable world of Olivia Rodrigo’s “​brutal,” a song that strikes a chord with its honest portrayal of the teenage experience. Join us as we explore the depth behind its raw and emotional lyrics.

“​brutal” Lyrics Meaning

The song starts with a declaration of insecurity: “I’m so insecure, I think / That I’ll die before I drink.” This line sets the tone for the song’s exploration of the anxiety and self-doubt that plague many teenagers.

Rodrigo expresses the overwhelming nature of social dynamics in “And I’m so caught up in the news / Of who likes me, and who hates you.” It highlights the struggle with social acceptance and the impact of others’ opinions.

The chorus, “And they’d all be so disappointed / ‘Cause who am I, if not exploited?” reflects on the pressure to live up to expectations and the feeling of being used or undervalued.

The poignant line, “And I’m so sick of 17 / Where’s my fucking teenage dream?” challenges the romanticized view of youth, revealing the harsher reality that many teens face.

The song touches upon feelings of invisibility and the desire to escape in “They say these are the golden years / But I wish I could disappear / Ego crush is so severe.” It’s a raw depiction of the crushing weight of self-consciousness and societal pressure.

Rodrigo’s lyrics, “I only have two real friends / And lately, I’m a nervous wreck,” speak to the difficulty of finding genuine connections amidst the chaos of teenage life.

Towards the end, “Got a broken ego, broken heart / And God, I don’t even know where to start” encapsulates the sense of being lost and overwhelmed, common in the journey of growing up.

Overall, “brutal” is a candid anthem about the trials of adolescence, capturing the complex emotions and challenges of navigating the teenage years.

Why Was “​brutal” Written?

“​brutal” was likely written as a form of catharsis for Olivia Rodrigo, reflecting her own experiences and emotions as a teenager. The song’s raw honesty suggests a state of mind grappling with the realities of growing up in the public eye and the universal struggles of adolescence.

The song serves as a powerful outlet for expressing the often unspoken difficulties of teenage life, resonating with listeners who have faced similar challenges. It’s a reflection of Rodrigo’s journey as an artist and individual, navigating the highs and lows of youth with authenticity and vulnerability.