The Used
Search Menu

Meaning of the song ‘Pretty Handsome Awkward’ by ‘The Used’

Released: 2007

“Pretty Handsome Awkward” by The Used is a thunderous track that barrels through the speakers with a mix of ferocity and intricate melody, delivering an anthem that grapples with the stark contrasts of human emotions and self-perception. This song is a chaotic dance of self-esteem issues dressed in punk rock attire, a pure example of The Used’s knack for meshing deep, often dark themes with explosive music. Let’s dive into the gritty details and find out what this raucous number is really screaming about.

The opening lines, “Kickin’ it out / Your dream vacation / Is my hostage refuge / A work in progress,” set an immediate tone of conflict and dichotomy. The speaker points to a disparity between an ideal life (“Your dream vacation”) and their reality (“Is my hostage refuge”), suggesting a feeling of being trapped or suffocated by what others may desire or find appealing. The phrase “a work in progress” implies a sense of incompleteness or an ongoing struggle to reach an end goal, which, in the realm of mental health, can often feel just out of reach.

As we move forward, we’re hit with “You bleed just like you puke while running a mile.” This vivid imagery suggests intense stress or anxiety, evoking the physical manifestations of emotional distress. The repetition of this line throughout the song hammers home the theme of enduring pain or discomfort, possibly hinting at the efforts one makes to appear okay on the outside, despite internally crumbling.

The chorus, “Hey, are you okay? / You look pretty low / Very handsome awkward,” is where the song’s title comes into play, echoing concerns about someone’s well-being. There’s an oxymoron in “Pretty handsome awkward,” blending attractiveness with clumsiness, showing how complex and multi-faceted individuals can be. This could be interpreted as the band’s criticism of superficial judgments based on appearances, urging a deeper understanding of one’s struggles beyond the surface.

The bridge, with lines like “Your market value / Your resurrection / Your shallow concept,” delves into the theme of self-worth and societal pressures. It critiques how people are often valued based on superficial or materialistic standards (“Your market value”), and the “shallow concept” could be pointing to a lack of depth in how people perceive each other or themselves. The biting remark, “Help yourself, I hope you choke and you die,” though harsh, might reflect the intense frustration and anger towards societal norms that prioritize superficiality over genuine well-being.

In conclusion, “Pretty Handsome Awkward” is a powerful exploration of the battles waged within the self, and between the self and society’s expectations. Through raw emotion and vivid imagery, The Used invite the listener to confront the complexity of human emotions, the pain of feeling inadequate, and the societal obsession with superficial measures of worth. It’s a song that doesn’t shy away from the messy, uncomfortable aspects of human existence, urging a more compassionate, understanding approach toward ourselves and each other.

Related Posts