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Why 2010’s Pop Music Has a Hold on My Youth

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

My first experience with pop music that I remember is from the third grade when my best friend got her first pink iPod. We would walk around the schoolyard with one earbud in each and listen to “California Gurls” by Katy Perry on repeat. Looking back, that may have been the only song she had on there. I got my first MP3 player around the same time (pink of course), and it was loaded with Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato and most likely the Jonas Brothers music.

2010’s music remains a constant in my life as they are surefire crowd-pleasers when driving around with friends and at parties. I mean, everyone knows the lyrics to “Beauty and a Beat” by Justin Bieber feat. Nicki Minaj. So why are these tracks still so prevalent in our lives?

First, reimagine the time period. If we were lucky, most of us were getting our first pieces of technology then. iPod Nano’s, MP3 players and iPods were an extension of our personal freedom and self-expression. That was around the time that music videos were one of the most entertaining things the internet had to offer, and quite flashy they were. Justin Bieber’s “Baby” made bowling look more eventful than it really is. Now we have our Spotify and Apple Music playlists where we can carefully curate the perfect sequence of songs relating to any mood. Additionally, it doesn’t take hours to figure out how to transfer an album onto our devices. The accessibility of music is something we take for granted now. 

Second, music and the memories it brings along with it bring back the memories of simpler times. One of the most notable events from many middle schools were the school dances where nobody would *actually* dance. The stress of being looked at while dancing seemed like the end of the world. Regardless, the DJ would play all the clean versions of the mainstream music while we would stand in a circle with our friends. These unknowing events can allow us to laugh at our younger selves as we had no idea how low stress our lives truly were. Although we are still young, we remain nostalgic about the ‘good ol days.’ Nobody tells us that being a legal adult is essentially putting out one mini fire after another and that somehow, one day we’ll be thrust into a whirlwind of decision making and to-do lists.

The beauty of music is that it remains a constant. The 2010’s pop genre had a place in our life that we can now look back on with memories, and we are creating memories with our current top listened to tracks that we can reminisce about down the road. So much about a person is revealed in their music taste as people posting their Spotify wrapped is a peek into their life. Our common experience with songs can allow us to briefly share moments with family, friends and even strangers ⏤ which is frankly quite a beautiful thought. 

Lia McGinnis

Wilfrid Laurier '24

Lia is a second-year Political Science major at Wilfrid Laurier University. Alongside her studies, she spends her time making Pinterest boards of her dream home and planning her life after retirement. It's never too early, right?
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