Signed, a Hollaback Girl

Filed under: music,rants @ 00:59

An open letter to Gwen Stefani;

Though your latest album is very good technically, you manage to pull of a mere “mediocre” aesthetically. Perhaps I am being unfair; I have simply heard samples from all the songs on your album but have heard only two songs in their entireties (What you waiting for? and Hollaback Girl). However, any album containing the latter must necessarily fall short of excellence. It is this song which this letter addresses.

Perhaps it is ironic that I am chastising you by verbiage rather than meeting you back at the bleachers (sans principals and student teachers, naturally) to engage in a pugilistic fracas the outcome of which would determine our relation in the current social hierarchy. I hope the irony is not lost on you, but after hearing the level of sophistication intrinsic in your lyrics, I must concede that that hope may be in vain.

As reported by imdb, you were born in 1969; thus, you are thirty-five years old. I bring this up not to debase you with unfair societal impressions regarding age and women (which, again ironically, is, in part, the subject of the other of your songs I have heard in full) but only to point out that your Junior High experience occurred roughly twenty years ago. Given that fact, and even setting propriety aside, how much artistic value is there in demanding some naive school girl set aside her pom-poms and face up to her back stabbing defamation by engaging in physical combat? Perhaps this song is a study in anachronism? Or in some otherwise incongruous juxtaposition? Alternatively, you may simply be trying too hard.

Actually, I think I can answer my own, above question dealing with artistic value. In the situation set forth in Hollaback Girl is a great deal of substance which could have been presented very poignantly in a piece of like theme. However, your song lyrically consists of callow, fatuous drivel: even below the level of typical pop. I expected better things from you. Previously I have had a great deal of respect for your work. If it weren’t for the fact that you are riotously hot, I might be even more critical of your recent work. As it is, I bigotedly and unabashedly make allowances.

Yours in Critique,


    not a fan but ... 12.26.2004 @ 21:00

    My my … what a verbose self important try-hard wank you are. I bet you have trouble convincing people outside the net that you actually have something valuable to say; on it you simply sound ridiculous. Your letter’s a lesson to all would-be writers.

    MDA 12.26.2004 @ 22:22

    Actually, I have a much harder time convincing people on the net I have something valuable to say. Harder because I typically don’t. But perhaps you only read the one post.

    Verbose? Absolutely. Particularly when it makes things more amusing (was the irony concerning language use and writing style of this post lost on you?). Did you think I really talked like that? Man, I wish I could; the chicks’d dig it: get mah phr33k on. Self Important? Well, I do consider my self (note the absence of the word “myself”) important, but I have a feeling that’s not what you’re getting at (you might try a hyphen). Quite the contrary actually, I have very little self-regard. Try-hard? Nope – notoriously lazy. Wank? Occasionally. And Ridiculous? Thank you; I hope so.

    But my letter as a lesson? Interesting, perhaps I could write a whole series of informative lessons for these “would-be writers” of yours. The first might be an adaptation of your very comment. The lesson would be to avoid being judgemental when you have no idea about the personality, style of humor, or history of the person’s writing you are critiquing.

    Hipocrisy! you cry.

    Well think on it a bit before crying so hastily.

    This my shit, “not a fan but …”; put your pom-poms down, gettin’ everybody fired up.

    But do come back. I don’t mean to sound like I don’t want strangers/critics/those of other opinions/dickweeds around. I’m not a mean person, just a verbose, self-important, try-hard wank.

    PS: Your comment did make me notice one thing, though. Normally I’d be the first to pounce on someone who used “artistic value” in a sentence. Sorry – I’ll do better next time.

    ok ... a bit of a fan 12.29.2004 @ 04:30

    No no … the irony wasn’t lost; I wanted to vent regardless.

    The reason?

    Well …

    Don’t you find catfights just a little sexy? Sure some naive schoolgirl may get caught up in the fracas; Santa may well deliver a dud to some poor kid too but then should all kids go without because of it? Would you deny them that? (Notice my seasonal logic?) And It’s ok, I’m confusing myself.

    Now … Gwen wasn’t necessarily referring to naive girls was she? I haven’t as yet seen the music clip but I’m hoping there will be some jelly involved. Should this be the case would not her “callow, fatuous drivel” be artistically justified? Your wished for “substance presented poignantly”? I can but hope (I’m sure you do to).

    As for me being hastily judgemental; I do bear no malice and as a conciliatory gesture I hope you’ll accept a belated Christmas present of some hyphens:

    – – – – – – (yes I have kept a couple).

    (If you’re a Jehova’s Witness I’ll have them back though.)

    MDA 12.29.2004 @ 17:27

    Hm…. notwithstanding Santa v. Poor kid, you bring up an interesting point. Perhaps Ms. Stefani’s irony was lost on me. I tend to think not, but I will certainly give her the benefit of the doubt and admit it as a possibility. You have enlightened me.

    And thank you for the hyphens – I’ll do my best to use them well.

    Meirav 01.02.2005 @ 03:38

    You people seem a bunch of articulate know-it-alls… Could someone please explain what IS a Hollaback girl? (Sorry, not an American teenager…)

    MDA 01.02.2005 @ 10:08

    I don’t know (and neither am I). My guess is that it’s a person who, instead of actually confronting a person who has been talking smack, just gossips and makes up rumors about that person in return.

    But I’m just making stuff up.

    PS: However I may think the lyrics idiotic, this song is way too catchy not to like. Plus it’s hysterical.

    a fan again 01.09.2005 @ 04:39

    I’m flattered that someone would think I’m an articulate know-it-all (note the hyphens). In reality it takes me around three hours and several beers to construct any comment (and heavy editing on my girfriends part). Actually MDA’s the articulate one, but I do know what a Hollaback Girl is (I had to consult an American). It’s a cheerleader … as in ‘holla’ … in the background. Hence my keen attitude towards them fighting each other.

    The funny thing is … I came across this blog doing a Google search for ‘Hollaback’ trying to work out what the hell it meant! (Yes, my life’s that sad).

    jello 01.21.2005 @ 19:29

    well it has a good beat anyway I give it a 6 and a half

    Paul.za 01.23.2005 @ 22:50

    Yet another comment above, I see. I also noticed that blogwaffe is no less than the fourth link that appears for a Google search on the word “hollaback”.

    Clearly, MDA, your site is considered an authority on the matter by the all-knowing machines of Google!

    MDA 01.24.2005 @ 00:36

    Wild, it seems as though I can no longer claim this site is “devoted to an untter lack of content”.

    Paul.za 01.24.2005 @ 01:51

    Well, no, not spelt like that you can’t.

    But seriously, well over a hundred quality posts (well, posts at least) is quite impressive!

    And yes, it would appear that this comment is entirely gratuitous.

    MDA 01.24.2005 @ 03:03

    haha – I sort of like the word :)


    jello 01.28.2005 @ 19:23

    that’s untterly the most amazing word in the human language.

    meg 02.25.2005 @ 20:08

    urbandictionary.com’s definition:

    1. Hollaback Girl
    An attractive girl but not the cream of the crop.
    When Tom sees Juile at a club, He hollas at her because she looks good but then when he sees Becky he forgets all about Juile. At the end of the night Becky won’t put out so he ‘hollas back’ at Juile.

    MDA 02.25.2005 @ 20:49

    Huh. If that’s the definition Ms. Stefani is using, that completely changes my perception of the song.

    someone 02.26.2005 @ 12:09

    I like that song…I like the cd

    jello 03.01.2005 @ 17:27

    you people all have way too much time on hands…hmmm come to think of it so do I… I best go get a real job

    MDA 03.01.2005 @ 17:44

    jello: perhaps, but clearly the only person with way too much time on his or her hands is “someone“. Surely such a wise sage as she/he has more important things to be attending.

    Good luck with the job.

    N. 03.19.2005 @ 13:13

    This might not be accurate, but its from urbandictionary.com…

    1. Hollaback Girl
    An attractive girl but not the cream of the crop.

    jello 03.30.2005 @ 19:06

    a creamy girl sounds a little messy hope you have some rubber sheets

    pookie 03.31.2005 @ 10:55


    Anonymous 04.01.2005 @ 21:47

    No, seriously, what the hell is a hollaback girl?

    Mary 04.07.2005 @ 11:48

    A trashy song for a trash woman and a trashy society! Grow up.

    MDA 04.07.2005 @ 12:41

    Anon – Read through the rest of the comments. A number of suggestions have been made.

    Mary – If it’s a “trashy song for a trash woman and a trashy society”, why is it you go around searching on MSN for “What is a Hollaback girl?”? If you already have your answer, why ask the question? More to the point, do you have nothing better to do with your life than to intentionally search for things you feel like trolling?

    Anonymous 04.11.2005 @ 23:25

    I hollaback girl is like a second choice girl…the guy didnt get his first choice so he ‘hollas back” at his second choice. So Gwen is saying that she is not a second choice.

    jello 04.19.2005 @ 20:55

    well that should certainly and finally solve this weighty mystery, now you can all go to sleep and rest comfortably

    GUnit 04.20.2005 @ 15:32

    She talked about this song in an interview and its her way of taking on the woman who had Gavin’s “love child” and often is quoted in the media talking smack about Gavin and Gwen and the situation.

    MDA 04.20.2005 @ 15:35

    Huh. Do you remember where you saw/heard the interview, GUnit?

    jello 04.20.2005 @ 17:40

    it was the world weekly news, front page real media grabber you mean you didn’t see that? what the hell is wrong with you? by the way this has all been so much fun and terribly amusing but my aritcle is now complete. please be sure to look for yourselves in the latest copy of pyschology today. goodbye and good luck and don’t forget take your medication on time.

    jello 04.20.2005 @ 17:42

    oh that’s ARTICLE I’d sure hate to make a mistake thus inviting you literary vultures to encircle and attack

    jello 04.23.2005 @ 16:40

    I simply can not resist the one final entry. In a moment of temporary good judgement. Incidentally, my name is gwen and I’m a…oh forget it I just regained my sanity.

    sparks 05.13.2005 @ 19:29

    Has anyone thought that “hollaback” might be slang for something else ? There’s a place called Mt Hollowback… there’s a breakdance move ( used by cheerleaders – interesting ! ) called the Hollowback… there are types of both shovels and golf clubs called Hollowback. I don’t think anyone will ever know what Gwen meant unless someone asks her directly, but I think I’m on the right track. Kinda stupid to use an expression that no-one in the world, outside your circle of friends, understands, Gwennie-love-angel-sweetheart.

    too old for this 05.17.2005 @ 11:29

    I also found this site while trying to figure out what the heck a “hollaback” girl is. One other definition I found was that a “hollaback girl” was not a cheerleader who “holla’s” but one sitting in the stands wishing she could be cream of the crop and “holla’s back” at the cheerleaders.
    So in the song the cheerleading captain is leading the girls through the shit work out routines, then encouraging them to commit violence upon the one who wronged her, their leader. She’s no “hollaback” girl that can be trifled with. Which sort of fits with the whole idea of a “hollaback” being a back up girl.

    reject 05.17.2005 @ 11:38

    WHAT? Are you ALL that socially retarted or is it just me?

    MDA 05.17.2005 @ 11:49

    I wish I were retarted. Fewer lonely nights.

    reject 05.17.2005 @ 13:27

    Grab a pillow, turn to face it surely that will give you hours of engrossing conversation- with yourself. There’s your solution for the all too frequent lonely nights genius.

    Holly 05.17.2005 @ 20:24

    my new definition of hollaback girl: a really talented singer/songwriter.

    This is why Gwen sings “I ain’t no hollaback girl,” because the song sucks. My favorite lyric…”The shit is bananas.” I do give the song credit for helping me spell bananas.

    WTF? 05.18.2005 @ 07:56

    Ummm…maybe it’s just me, but why the hell does everything have to be spelled out? Is it not possible to just have fun with a song? Does every song have to be understood word for word or can you just simply like it or hate it. If you follow Gwen’s work she’s all about trying new things and having fun. The last album was influenced by jamaca, current has a lot of 80’s pop themes,return of saturn was punk influenced, and No Doubts break through was from their original ska roots. She’s having fun and not caring what anyone thinks about it. That’s what makes her music so appealing. DUH!

    MDA 05.18.2005 @ 10:20

    WTF?, your comment would pull a lot more weight if you hadn’t found this site by searching MSN for ‘definition of hollaback girl’.

    WTF? 05.18.2005 @ 10:42

    actually, I was interested in what a hollaback girl was because I’m trying to write a paper on music in american culture and the effects of it…so I’m thinking the remark is pulling it’s fair share but, thanks for your concern.

    MDA 05.18.2005 @ 11:00

    WTF?, Then I think you’ve answered your own question. Some people clearly think that the definition of Hollaback girl needs to be ‘spelled out’ so that an academic paper on the music of American culture and the effects it has on society can be more substantive than just: “She’s having fun and not caring what anyone thinks about it. That’s what makes her music so appealing. DUH!”

    But I do agree. Your remark does pull its fair share of inanity. I mean, just look at the rest of the comments.

    And you’re welcome.

    jjk 05.18.2005 @ 11:11

    And was that last “And you’re welcome” said like Jimmy Fallon did at the end of the computer guy skits on SNL? Please tell me that’s how it was meant, because that’s sure as hell how I read it. And it was awesome.

    WTF? 05.18.2005 @ 11:20

    you’re right! If my paper was on Gwen Stefani, her music, and the effects it has on the public, then my paper would be written for me. I would just use this forum to right my entire paper. I wouldn’t go as far as saying the comments are meaningless. they’ve obviously struck a nerve with you. Alas you still win. there’s no way I can catch up to your score since this forum is dripping with your oh so intelligent 50cent words. *sighs and hangs head in shame,picks up dictionary and begin reading. “A” is for arrogant.*

    WTF? 05.18.2005 @ 11:21

    and yes I ment right, as in correct

    jjk 05.18.2005 @ 11:29

    You “ment” what now? Who is searching out whose blog to proceed to call them arrogant? And have you read _any_ of the other posts on this blog? If this “forum is dripping with” anything, it’s sarcasm and absurdity. And I feel as though I can comfortably say that’s by design, my friend.

    By the way, does the “sans principals and student teachers, naturally” line not just give it away? That’s priceless.

    MDA 05.18.2005 @ 12:32

    WTF?, I’m glad you’ve found the site and am hopeful you’ll be able to use some of what’s been contributed by many others such as yourself in this paper of yours. I never said your or any other comment was inane, I just said it contained parts which were (though there are comments here which, to my mind, are quite useless; that does not mean they go unappreciated. Yes, I recognize the implicit semantic issues).

    Your point (a decent one, though, again, I believe you responded to it best yourself) would have been much better presented if you had taken a more appropriate tone. Signing yourself ‘WTF?’, preaching opinion as gospel, insulting the intelligence of myself and the others that have posted here, and in general being an ass to a complete stranger instantly made your comment antagonistic and worthy of retribution. The internet brings partial anonymity. That anonymity is no excuse for the setting aside of social graces.

    jjk, Right on. And thanks :)

    Dixie 05.18.2005 @ 15:11

    With the current market, you’d have to pay over a dollar for some of the words in that last comment post…

    jello 05.19.2005 @ 12:51

    Well as luck would have it, it seems you all did in fact forget to take your meds…just checking. Keep up the good work trying to impress one another

    jello 05.19.2005 @ 13:03

    And I just got it, a ‘PAPER’ ha that was funny. A thesis no doubt (no pun intended at all) here are some more excuses for anyone that needs one

    I’m holding it for a friend
    The check is in the mail

    feel free to add yor own

    jello 05.19.2005 @ 13:04

    uh oh…YOUR own…. sorry for making typo please don’t shoot me I have alimony to pay

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