In Defense of Catey Shaw's 'Brooklyn Girls'

If you haven't seen or heard yet, the above video is a song called, "Brooklyn Girls" by Catey Shaw. I love the song. I think it's great, it's super catchy and Shaw is adorable. Not to mention her smokey voice is beautiful.

In the song, she crones about "Brooklyn Girls," and this has pissed a bunch of people off. I get it, if you're living in Park Slope or Bay Ridge or Flushing, this song isn't talking about you even though you're in Brooklyn. But, as someone from somewhere else who recently moved to North Brooklyn (what Shaw actually means when she claims Brooklyn), this song makes sense.

Where I live in Brooklyn is exactly what Shaw portrays in her music video, except I live in Greenpoint and there is less graffiti and everything is cleaner. But there are just as many people with colored hair (I'm one of them) and tattoos (again me) and weird piercings and skateboarding and all of the other cliques that are shown. Shaw's Brooklyn girl is me, I'm an outsider who came to New York to pursue art and writing, and all that, and found an affordable cool place to live with other people who are a lot like me. Is that so wrong? Everything I thought about living in Brooklyn is what it's like to live in Brooklyn. And everything I thought about living in Brooklyn is in this video. '


Gawker's Jordan Sargent says, "Shaw's worst crime is not making a statement about Brooklyn, it's being corny. She was in essence, pilloried for speaking the wrong language." And I totally agree, but unlike him and many others, I love that it's so corny. This video is a parody of North Brooklyn, but North Brooklyn is a parody of Brooklyn. That's why this song and video are so much fun. And I don't think that "Brooklyn Girls" is an aggressively poppy pop song meant to capture the zeitgeist of the borough" as New York Mag put it. It's just fun. It's meant to be fun. Shaw isn't making a comment on society as a whole, she's just a young 22-year-old trying to make it and have some fun.

So, everyone, chill out. Time.com said it best, "Catey Shaw isn't actually singing about Brooklyn the place. She's singing about Brooklyn the adjective...The whole this about a Brooklyn girl is you don't have to be from Brooklyn." Let's all just get over ourselves a little and stop taking everything so damn seriously. Most of us aren't from here anyway. And we can always, always one more catchy pop song in our lives.