This past week I attended a homecoming concert featuring Jesse McCartney, Sean Kingston, and Quinn XCII. It was honestly the best experience a college student could ask for... except for one thing. In Sean Kingston's set, he performed a throwback song from 2009 called "Beautiful Girls." Now don't get me wrong this song is a "bop" but one of the lyric lines that he repeats continuously reads "You're way too beautiful girl. That's why it'll never work. They'll have you suicidal, suicidal, suicidal. When they say it's over."
For someone who has encountered mental health problems both with friends and myself, this line IS very triggering and can offend everyone involved. If you've never heard the song, the main storyline is that Sean has a "girlfriend," and they have had problems which result in fighting but he doesn't want to leave her. He also acknowledges that there are many "beautiful girls" that he could have, and if they don't figure out their situation, he will become suicidal. The song is making fun of real-life situations.
There have been many cases where people have been stressed about a certain situation and become suicidal. I sincerely doubt that's what Mr. Kingston was trying to get at in this song. I am also really disappointed in our university for even allowing him to perform this song considering the fact that just last year Elon lost two students by suicide. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide rates have increased over the past 20 years. I guess in 2009 it could be seen as somewhat acceptable for a song to make light of a horrific tragedy but it's 2018 people.
How is it that in 2018 we can still be so insensitive to mental health issues that affect so many people? Something has got to change, and it starts with media being showcased to those in this vulnerable age group. So to Sean Kingston, I say: your work is amazing, I have grown up listening and dancing to your music. But now that I have realized the impact mental health and suicide has had on people around me and for myself, I would appreciate it if you considered changing your performance set to not include that specific song. I acknowledge that there are probably other artists that reference suicide and other mental health issues in a "lightened" tone this song is just the first one to pop out in my mind.