Okay, we confess. Many an hour (or two) has been spent going down the black hole of YouTube hearing our favourite songs on repeat and catching vintage music videos and bootlegs of live performances. But YouTube is also a great place to hear some great beauty-themed songs that are a savvy blend of inspirational and tongue-in-cheek. Here are some toe-tapping favourites that always have us smiling.
Beauty School Dropout
Popularised by Frankie Avalon in 1978 for the movie adaptation of Grease, this song had classic lines like "Well they couldn't teach you anything. You think you're such a looker. But no customer would go to you unless she was a hooker!" Okay so the lyrics were always a little cruel, but hey, sometimes a tough approach works on the unmotivated.
Lesson learned: If you're clumsy, the beauty profession is probably not for you.
Girl, You Don't Need Makeup
Although written for her sketch show Inside Amy Schumer, as a parody of trite, feel-good boyband songs like One Direction's What Makes You Beautiful, as with any good comedy piece, this hit pretty close to home. Plus lines like, "Just get up an hour earlier, and you can make yourself much girlier" and "Think of a clown and then work your way back," are pure gold.
Lesson learned: Men say they prefer natural beauties, but they really have no idea what they're talking about.
If you grew up in the 90's TLC were the girl group with empowering messages and a whole lot of swagger — a far cry from the manfactured pop bands of today. Unpretty sent a strong message to young women: don't (cosmetically) change yourself to conform to other people's idea of beauty.
Lesson learned: Love yourself. And you can buy all the makeup that M.A.C can make, but that won't teach you confidence.
India.Arie's anthem to unconventional beauty is catchy and inspirational in a way that doesn't shove the message down your throat. Okay, so it may be hard to love every bit ourselves from our freckles to our thighs, but there are more important things to worry about.
Lesson learned: God doesn't make mistakes.
Pretty Girl Rock
This underated gem may sound egotistical at first, especially coming from the undeniably gorgeous Keri Hilson, but listen closer and the message is about owning your pretty and never letting jealousy rear its ugly head. Plus the video is a tribute to pioneering black women over the decades from Diana Ross to Janet Jackson to TLC.
Lesson learned: Keri Hilson would look beautiful in any decade. Literally.