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The Manipulation and Gaslighting of Girl in Red’s You Stupid Bitch

Marie Ulven of Girl in Red posing for a Fall photo


Marie Ulven of Girl in Red recently released her first album, If I Could Make It Go Quiet, at the end of April. Before the official album released, she make several singles public, including Serotonin and You Stupid Bitch, the latter being sung from the perspective of a toxic “best friend.”

The first listen through, it just sounds like a girl in love with her best friend, just vying for her romantic attention and to finally see that they’re meant to be together.

But after blaring it on repeat for a full week in my car, I’m starting to convincingly see it from a different perspective.

The speaker isn’t quite their loving best friend, but could most likely be described as an “incel,” or “nice guy,” terms used to describe (mainly) men who believe themselves unattractive to women and choose to put them down and believe themselves to have a right to a romantic relationship for simply “being a good person.”

Plenty of women and girls have had experiences with these men, whether it be online or true reality. And Marie does a wonderful job of providing insight into the mind of that person. You ever watch a movie and see a girl reject the nerd or best guy friend in favor of a hunky jock, only to realize that they’re just an air-headed bimbo who doesn’t care about them? And then the girl goes to date the nerd after realizing their mistake? That’s a nice guy’s wet dream and exactly what the speaker of You Stupid Bitch is yearning for.

You let the wrong people love you

But you don't see that, do you?

When you cry and need my comfort

I drop everything to come over

The first verse does in fact sound like a loving friend being there in times of need, but on the 56th listen through, it’s pretty clear that you can easily take this from the perspective of a nice guy. They come over to comfort her, loving her, and then make that special move at her most vulnerable moment.

You don't know what you deserve

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And that's why you end up hurt

But you never listen

Take my advice as criticism

Then make the worst decisions

Skipping the chorus for now, the second verse places all the blame on the love interest. Anything bad that happens in her life is her fault. The speaker tries so hard to help, but is just pushed away and ignored. “He’s so bad for you, she doesn’t deserve you,” etc. The speaker’s getting angry now, as all they want is to be with their love interest.

Don't bite your lip or grit your teeth

Just count to ten and try to breathe

You stupid bitch, can't you see

The perfect one for you is me?

The final straw is when the speaker addresses their love interest as a “stupid bitch.” That’s the moment you truly realize that this isn’t a pure love ode to a dear friend, but instead a song full of manipulation tactics. Even the two lines before the insult, it’s like a taunt. “Why so angry? What’s wrong?”

Like always, Marie Ulven perfectly represents manipulation and bad love in just a simple song, masking it as well as a manipulator could.

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