On This Day in Pink History… 7th February 2006, Stupid Girls was released
In 2006, Stupid Girls was released as the lead single from Pink’s fourth studio album, I’m Not Dead. The song was written by Pink, Billy Mann, Niklas Olovson and Robin Mortensen Lynch and produced by Billy Mann and MachoPsycho.
The single entered the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart at number twenty-four, the week’s highest debut and the highest debut of Pink’s career (later topped by her 2008 single, So What). It climbed to number thirteen, becoming Pink’s eighth top twenty single in the United States and her highest peaking single since “Just Like a Pill” (2002). Its peak on the Top 40 Mainstream airplay chart, however, did not match that of most of her previous singles. “Stupid Girls” remained on the Hot 100 for sixteen weeks, and it reached the top twenty on the Pop 100 and appeared on the Adult Top 40. It received airplay in nightclubs, peaking inside the top twenty on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. “Stupid Girls” was certified Gold by RIAA in February 2008.
The single was a bigger chart hit elsewhere—it reached number two on the Canadian Singles Chart, and on the Australian ARIA Singles Chart, it entered at number four and is certified gold for sales of over 35,000. It was ranked number thirty-ninth on ARIA’s top 100 singles of 2006 list. It also peaked at number four on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Pink’s highest charting single in the UK since “Feel Good Time” (2003). It reached the top ten in most countries in Europe.
“Stupid Girls” was nominated in the category of Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 2007 Grammy Awards.
The single was praised by Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling on her official website. She wrote, “‘Stupid Girls’, is the antidote-anthem for everything I had been thinking about women and thinness.” About.com praised the song and highlighted it: “she has rarely been as pointed in her socio-political views as in the hit “Stupid Girls” (…) “Stupid Girls” is musically a dance/hip hop gem.” Allmusic praised her delivery when she’s taunting and teasing this song and it was titled as one of the standouts on album. Entertainment Weekly noted that this song has some verve. The Guardian was less positive noting that her vocals are superficial as the starlets she attacks. LA Times wrote that this song fuses many genres greatly and called it “hilarious feminist romp.” Jon Pareles was favorable: “the pop-reggae of Stupid Girls snidely dismisses the bimbos she sees everywhere, though she apparently has studied their habits closely.” PopMatters was positive: “On “Stupid Girlz”, she rails against the idea that women have to choose between being smart and being sexy, as if the two are mutually exclusive. Pink makes the case that women can be all that and more—”Girls with ambition,” she sings, “That’s what I want to see”. She sounds bewildered and exasperated when she says, in the frequently quoted lines:
What happened to the dream of a girl president? She’s dancing in the video next to 50 Cent They travel in packs of two or three With their itsy bitsy doggies and their teenie weenie tees
What could have easily been a rant turns into an adept social critique. The way she sings it, the problem isn’t 50 Cent’s video, it’s the idea that dancing in the video is the extent of a woman’s aspirations. The bit about the “itsy bitsy doggies” suggests a disdain for elitism and excess that makes you wonder if Gwen Stefani’s “Rich Girl” made Pink see red. It’s got the same playfully articulate vibe as George Clinton’s “Some of My Best Jokes Are Friends”. By the way, for those keeping score, the United States is on its forty-third consecutive male president. Female presidents? Zilch. Female rump shakers in music videos? Countless. Don’t look now, but it seems like Pink’s got a point.” Sal Cinqeman was favorable, too: “As always, Pink’s ragged vocals are better than she’s often given credit for and there’s still a rebel sensibility, at least lyrically, on the catchy lead single “Stupid Girls” (“Where, oh where, have all the smart people gone?” she begs, lambasting “porno paparazzi girls”—which would have made for a more fun title—the way she took aim at Britney two albums ago).” Rolling Stone praised the collaboration with Lilth Fair and added that she takes on ‘stupid girls’ with these lyrics “What happened to the dream of a girl president?/She’s dancing in the video next to 50 Cent.” Feminist website Feminspire were considerably more critical, naming the song in 2014 as one of “the top ten most sexist songs that aren’t rap or hip hop from the last 20 years”. Author Noor Al-Sibai remarked that: “Pink shits on these women who are too stupid to break out of the chains of patriarchy by harshly judging their promiscuity and blaming them for ‘giving in’ to sexist tropes. Because obviously, women are to blame for their sexist objectification.”