Girls Just Want To Have Fun: the message of Cindy Lauper’s hit

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Cindy Lauper began his career in the band Blue Angel, which released only one album in 1980 before splitting up. She became a saleswoman, still performing occasionally, until she was noticed in 1981 in a club by her future manager, who gave her a contract with CBS.

In 1983 she debuted solo with She’s So Unusual, the album that contains Girls Just Want To Have Fun and her other great success Time After Time, which immediately set her as the most original female artist of the early 80s, both for her colourful and bizarre attitude and for her remarkable vocal talents.

Girls Just Want to have Fun becomes the first single of the album and the video made to promote the song went in heavy rotation on the newborn MTV, pushing She’s So Unusual at the top of the charts. Girls Just Want To Have Fun was originally written by Robert Hazard, published in 1979 and it highlighted the male point of view when you are surrounded by girls who want to have fun.

Cindy Lauper resumed the song, modified it and shifted the point of view, focusing on what could be the female perspective: girls are not less than boys in wish for fun. The singer had always been a feminist and with that song she managed to raise her ideas on equal rights between men and women.

The video of Girls Just Want To Have Fun was realized without great expenses, with a total cost of about 35,000 dollars. Much of the saving was achieved by hiring relatives, friends and collaborators, who helped to interpret the colorful characters of the clip: among these there were Cindy’s mother (who played herself), her brother, her manager, some secretaries of CBS and the immense Captain Lou Albano (former wrestler and at the time manager in the WWF), who played the part of the protagonist’s father and who would also appear in the video Time After Time.

In the video Cindy confronts the gray and submissive mother, hitting against the wall raised by the father. After contacting her friends, she starts a carousel in the streets that grows up until her room was exploding. The idea of the singer was that the protagonist’s friends must have embrace all racial and social extractions and for this reason Girls just Want to have Fun is considered the first multi-racial video in history.

Cindy Lauper’s career could have gone better: for some, most of the blame shall be attributed to the success of Girls just Want to have Fun, which froze the image of a weird, poorly dressed girl, preventing the evolution of the character. While someone like Madonna was able to reinvent herself constantly and successfully, Lauper failed to do the same, and she wasn’t able to maintain that kind of success. In the 90s, she was almost out of the scenes.

Too bad, because the world of pop needs always someone intelligent like her. And most of the girls that were able to ride the music success after her, owe her most of their results.

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