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Sabrina Carpenter has released a new single.

After rumours of the actor’s falling out with High School Musical star Olivia Rodrigo, it is now official.

Carpenter is clapping back.

Sabrina Carpenter is that Blonde Girl

Before January 8th, 2021, Disney star Olivia Rodrigo was a relative unknown outside of children’s media.

Then came ‘Divers Licence’.

Breaking streaming records globally, Rodrigo’s single is inescapable.

The key to its appeal?

‘Drivers Licence’ is a breakup song.

Olvia Rodrigo Press Shot 2020
Olivia Rodrigo poses for a publicity photo.

Love Hurts

‘Drivers Licence’ confirmed what many fans theorised.

Rodrigo had been dating Highschool Musical costar Joshua Bassett.

Not only that, Bassett and Rodrigo had broken up.

He had left her.

His new partner?

Sabrina Carpenter.

Or, as Roridgo refers to her in her blockbuster single, “that blonde girl who always made me doubt.”

“Maybe Blonde Was the Only Rhyme”

In ‘Skin,’ Carpenter replies.

Maybe blonde was the only rhyme,” she sings “drive yourself crazy.”

Her lyrics have caused controversy with Rodrigo fans and Highschool Musical stans.

Several have criticised ‘Skin’.

‘Drivers License’ was about Rodrigo’s heartbreak and insecurity.

It directed no ill will toward Carpenter.

Carpenter’s song, in contrast, sounds “bitter and resentful”.

Others had voiced the opinion Carpenter “went after the woman”.

Damaged pride led her to hit out at Rodrigo.

Rodrigo’s song was, commenters point out, a shot at ex Joshua Bassett.

Not her.

Sabrina Carpenter
Sabrina Carpenter poses for a promotional photo.

TikTok Weighs In On Sabrina Carpenter

TikTok users have taken to the app to call out Carptener’s single, “a publicity stunt”.

“She probably needs to fire her marketing team”, one remarks.

Regardless of criticism, Carpenter has captured public attention.

With 10 million streams in a single week on Spotify alone, Carpenter has landed herself a minor hit.

What is more, the release of the single was followed by the announcement Carpenter had landed a record deal with music industry heavyweight Island Records.

Systemic Sexism Exposed

Is Sabrina entirely at fault here, or are deeper societal issues being exposed?

First, let us look at pop culture’s longstanding fascination with 3-way love affairs.

We witness love triangles in film and Hollywood all the time.

Jacob or Edward?

Peeta or Gale?

Angelina or Jennifer?

It’s a phenomenon that consumes the media and starts a frenzy with fans. 

In many cases, the lines get blurred between celebrities personal and public lives.

Fans make assumptions about people they know little about.

The dynamic of these love triangles are often destructive to the personal lives of those involved.

Women especially are pitted against each other.

Reputations are often damaged.

Their male counterparts often walk getting away unscathed.

Responses to ‘Skin’ may be problematic for this reason.

In leaving Carptener’s current partner and Rodrigo’s ex-Josh Bassett out of the conversation fans have played into the media’s misogynistic undertones.

Sabrina Carpenter Addresses Fans

Sabrina has taken to social media to speak out about the backlash she had been receiving.

“I wasn’t bothered by a few lines in a (magnificent) song (reference to Rodrigo) and wrote a diss track about it,” Carpenter has stated. 

Despite heavy lyrical implications and the uncanny timing of the single, it appears Sabrina Carpenter is attempting damage control.

The song isn’t calling out one single person,” she has shared, “some lines address a specific situation, while other lines address plenty of other experiences I’ve had this past year.

Carpenter has urged fans to spread kindness and support.

I don’t want this to become an endless cycle,” she has concluded in her statement, “so please don’t take this as an opportunity to send more hate anyone’s way.”

Sabriana Carpenter Hollywood Records Press Mr IOZO
Sabriana Carpenter in 2020.

Does ‘Skin’ Live Up to the Hype?

There is no doubt Sabrina Carpenter has star quality.

She debuted as an actor in Law & Order: SVU then had her breakthrough role in the Disney Channel series, Girl Meets World.

Like Olivia Rodrigo, Carpenter is also a talented songwriter.

Carpenter signed to Hollywood Records in 2014.

Here she released her debut single, ‘Can’t Blame a Girl for Trying’.

In addition, she released studio albums: Eyes Wide Open (2015), Evolution (2016), Singular: Act I (2018) and Singular: Act II (2019).

With several years of recording experience, she is an industry veteran.

@joshuatbassett

dream a dream u little bleep #sharkboyandlavagirl @sabrinacarpenter

♬ Follow me plz – Ma’kaila Janai

Carpenter and Bassett pose together on TikTok.

A Publicity Stunt?

Now she has been given a big break.

Is a song like a ‘Skin’ opportunistic?

Yes.

But do not forget the stairway to pop royalty is littered with broken dreams and lost opportunities.

Sabrina Carpenter has been given a chance to launch her career as a recording artist.

And she has taken it.

The release of ‘Drivers License’ had unprecedented popularity.

The single was totalling nearly 14 million streams per day the week following its release.

It would almost be bad business for the other artists involved not to capitalise.

(Joshua Bassett has also released his own reply titled ‘Lie Lie Lie’ alongside follow-up ‘Only A Matter of Time’.)

Still, many music-loving fans have been critical of the move.

Skin Falls Short

Unfortunately, ‘Skin’ falls short.

Negative fan reception suggests its not the kind of song that is here to stick around after the drama fades away. 

The song may be just another pop-industry sound that cannot be separated from the drama.

‘Skin’ may be short-lived.

Carpenter, however, might just stick around. 

  • Sabrina Carpenter 'Skin'
    5
The Good

Talented vocalist

Pop star potential

What else was happening in 2021?

The Bad

Muddied message

Middle of the road production

Cashing in on Rodrigo's fame

0
510
Audrey Songvilay

Contributing Writer

Audrey is a contributing writer at The Glitter and Gold.

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