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‘Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess’–For The Girls Who Hate To Love Their Hometown

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

I’m far from the first to write about the glitter-covered, campy, and authentic debut album from rising pop star Chappell Roan, and given how much I adore this album, I hope I won’t be the last. 

Released in September, I spent many weeks anticipating more music from her after seeing a few music videos on social media of previously released singles. Aesthetically, it’s just fun. The videos are colorful and vibrant. Just as colorful and vibrant, the new album reminded me of who I am and who I want to be. 

First off, I absolutely adore the moniker “Midwest Princess.” It brings to mind the kind of girl who always had dreams too big for her little town, who walked down her dirt road picking flowers and catching butterflies, who wore a cheap sparkly princess dress for Halloween every year, fighting her mom every time she said she had to wear a coat over it. It also brings to mind the rage that comes with feeling like you don’t belong, that you never will in a small town that has nothing left for you. 

Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess is a celebration of finding who you are, and searching for your identity. The album opens with a bang, “Femininomenon,” about having the realization that all girls have: boys suck! The songs that follow are an exuberant celebration of Chappell Roan’s queerness and self-love. I wish I could pick a favorite of this category, but “Red Wine Supernova” and “Super Graphic Ultra Modern Girl” are pretty up there. 

Multifaceted as she is, the rest of the album has some of the most gut-wrenching, devastating love songs that make me want to lie on the floor and mourn a heartbreak I’ve never experienced. From “Coffee,” which is about trying not to fall back into a toxic relationship, to “Kaleidoscope,” which is about falling in love with a best friend, the album explores the many forms that a broken heart can take. 

One song in particular, “California,” lives up to the album title. Mourning the life she expected once she left her home back in Missouri, this song shows the so-called “fall” of the Midwest Princess, tired and begging to return to a place once dreaded. 

I still live in the Midwest, here at Michigan State. It’s only been recently that I haven’t been begging to go somewhere else. In high school I wanted to be anywhere but my tiny Michigan town where cows outnumber people and our biggest event of the year is the county fair. Call it growing out of teen angst, or finally accepting who I am, but I’d love nothing more than to be a “Midwest Princess” like Chappell Roan. 

Living here is like finding a diamond in the rough. There is something beautiful about the dirt roads, the boiling summers and the freezing winters. I still can’t wait to see the world, but I know that the Midwest will always be a part of who I am. 

Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess is the soundtrack to finding yourself between where you came from and where you are now. It tells the epic highs of finally becoming the person you always wanted to be and the lows of all the heartbreak one must face on the way. A glittery and over-the-top collection of anthems for every Midwest Princess that is or ever will be. 

Madison Reinhold is Marketing Director, Events Assistant and Staff Writer for Her Campus at MSU. She leads the Design Team which produces content for social media as well as merch and recruitment, in addition to planning team events and contributing articles to Her Campus. Madison is a senior studying journalism with a concentration in writing, reporting, and editing, with minors in women's and gender studies and history. She also interns for MSU's Center for Gender in Global Context, creating social media content, contributing to their newsletter, and editing their department magazine. She previously interned for local non-profit The Women's Center of Greater Lansing. Additionally, she works for MSU's College of Social Science Office of Student Success, providing supplemental instruction to students. In her precious free time, Madison is attempting to write her first novel, playing fetch with her dog, Hazel, or finding a new niche history book to obsess over.