The American “Material Girl”

June 22, 2011
In Madonna’s classic song, “Material Girl”, she shares an insight on the many stereotypes American women look for when trying to find their soul mates. Her use of blunt honesty creates an imagery of young girls using wealthy men solely for their money. Her exaggerations make the listeners feel at ease by giving them the room to point fingers towards others in higher economic or social classes. When looking deeper into the lyrics and their meaning, the analyst can clearly see that we cannot target a specific culture. Americans are all to blame regarding our desire to achieve a large affluence in a short period of time. With the rise of fast food, fast cars, fast entertainment, our culture has been trained to live a fast-paced lifestyle. The largest part of our lifestyle has become our need to have more money than we necessarily need and to get it all very quickly.

Madonna begins her song describing her active dating life but how she has never found the man to keep her and her bank account happy. She has lived her life by the motto: “the boy with the cold hard cash/ Is always Mister Right” and will never settle for a man that won’t provide enough financially. Madonna then moves on to the chorus where she repeatedly tell her listeners that “we are/ Living in a material world/ And I am a material girl”. The materialistic world has influenced her to be a “material girl”. A tough cycle to break, Madonna acts upon it by singing this satirical song about the influence of a society that puts a large emphasize on wealth to a girl looking for someone to spend her life with.

Although Madonna narrows her situation to a woman and a man, we can summarize the themes she brings up and apply it to all Americans. People come to the “land of freedom” to find success and happiness which our culture immediately associates with money and wealth. With the pressure of finding a way of obtaining large amounts of money with little effort, cheating and other immoral acts have become a norm in our culture. Just through the day- to- day, people become almost subconsciously sabotaging each other in hopes to earn a little extra cash. Through the stealing of ideas or the more serious literal stealing of money, Americans have become obsessed with their financial state. Madonna plays on the “American dream” and the idea that many people will do anything for the prospect of wealth, even if that includes spending the rest of your life with a partner you don’t love just to be rich.

Madonna uses popular culture to provide an argument for a serious issue. People are influenced so easily and with the increase in emphasis on materials, people are feeling more pressured to put their happiness on the back burner to wealth.





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