Single - Megan Moroney - I'm Not Pretty
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‘I'm Not Pretty’ by Megan Moroney - Lyrics & Meaning

August 15, 2023 7:08 pm GMT
Last Edited December 19, 2023 10:01 pm GMT

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Megan Moroney - 'I'm Not Pretty'

Label: Sony Music Nashville/Columbia Records

Release Date: February 10th 2023

Album: Lucky

Producers: Kristian Bush

Songwriters: Ben Williams, Mackenzie Carpenter, Megan Moroney & Micah Carpenter

Chart Performance:

  • No. 41 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs
  • No. 58 on Billboard's Country Airplay

The Background:

In 2022, Megan Moroney quickly became one of the fastest-rising country newcomers with the release of her viral hit, 'Tennessee Orange.'

Telling the tale of a forbidden love set to the theme of college football, the song shot to the top of the country charts in June of 2023, earning Moroney quite a bit of clout amongst the country music audience along the way.

Named a 2023 Artist to Watch by the likes of Amazon, Pandora and Spotify, Moroney's rise as one of country music's newest stars has been swift, to say the least.

In the span of just a few months, she has already been named one of CMT's Next Women of Country, notched her first CMT Music Award for Breakthrough Female Video of the Year ('Tennessee Orange'), earned a nod at the 2023 ACM Awards for New Female Artist of the Year and collected her first (of many) Platinum certifications from the RIAA.

Following 'Tennessee Orange''s release in December 2022, Moroney prepared her debut full-length album, Lucky, which arrived in early May to much acclaim. Featuring a fiery thirteen tracks, the record is one of the strongest releases of the year and includes plenty of radio ready ammunition.

At the top of that list, figuratively and literally seeing as its the opening track of the record, is Moroney's follow-up single, 'I'm Not Pretty'.

Officially impacting country radio on August 7, the sassy and sarcastic tune debuted at No. 58 on Billboard's Country Airplay chart and No. 41 on the Hot Country Songs chart. Assuming history will quickly repeat itself, it likely won't be a long journey before the song hits its peak, providing Moroney with her second chart-topper.

'I'm Not Pretty' details an all-too-relatable story where an ex's new girlfriend does some slight Instagram stalking in search of affirming her own self-confidence. Thing is, she might've gotten caught in the process.

Recounting an experience from back in fall of 2021, the Georgia native delivers a three-minute knock out that's drenched in self-confidence. It also showcases whats now become her signature blend of cleverly written lyrics and autobiographical honesty.

This is just the beginning for Moroney, and with a spit-fire single like 'I'm Not Pretty' slowly permeating country radios everywhere, her already whirlwind of a career is sure to pick up some serious steam.

The Sound:

'I'm Not Pretty' is self-assurance tied up in a neat, three minute package.

Addressing topics like bullying and insecurities, this second single from the young singer-songwriter is quickly evolving into this generation's confidence anthem, in much a similar fashion as Taylor Swift's 2014 hit, 'Shake It Off', but with a country getup and a side of southern twang.

It's a fitting comparison, especially since Moroney credits Swift as one of her top three musical influences.

Part of the charm of 'I'm Not Pretty' is that the lyrics simultaneously empower listeners to recognize their worth while also calling out bullies. Moroney first teased the track on TikTok, as you would expect, and it quickly made a connection with fans who were ravenous for the song's release.

The single was written by Moroney alongside siblings Mackenzie and Micah Carpenter, as well as Ben Williams, who co-wrote Moroney's breakthrough hit, 'Tennessee Orange'.

Earlier that same October day in 2021, the quartet of wordsmiths had already written Moroney's standout song at the time, 'Hair Salon' - but after hearing about her recent social media drama, they decided to put the whole situation to song.

Rather than getting mad about her ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend clearly doing some late night sleuthing, Moroney and her co-writers flipped the script and created a playful anthem instead.

Helmed by Sugarland's Kristian Bush, Moroney's conversational and casual vocal delivery, which echoes just how unbothered she is by this random girls escapades, pair perfectly with the relaxed and laid-back production.

The recording opens with an iconic, breezy acoustic guitar played by Bush and a twangy slide guitar wielded by Justin Schipper. Throughout the rest of the track, guitarist Benji Shanks lends his talents with a Mu-Tron pedal, creating a wobbly sound that sneaks in to the sonic background.

All in all, the snarky song keeps things light-hearted and fun... even if the lyrics can pack a bit of a punch.

The Meaning:

"I bet one of his friends let my name slip again
And it sent you down the rabbit hole spinnin'
Now you know I sing, know my sign, know my drink
Size me up in a matter of minutes
Did you mean to double-tap that spring break throwback
From 2016 in PCB?"

The song opens with Moroney talking directly to the new girl in question, guessing that somehow her name got brought up which is how they got into this predicament.

From scrolling through her Instagram feed, which exists as merely a highlight reel of Moroney's life, she draws attention to the fact that, in today's world, we think we know someone simply based on their social media. In this case, the new girlfriend probably found out that she's an artist and some of the things she likes, but nothing of real significance, even though the girlfriend will likely feel vindicated regardless.

Everything is fine until the new girl accidentally likes a picture from all the way back in 2016... which is when the chaos begins.

"Somewhere out there my ex-boyfriend's
New girlfriend's scrollin' through my Instagram
Tearin' me down, passin' the phone around
Like there's nothin' better to talk about
Zoomin' out, zoomin' in, overanalyzin'
Like the queen of the mean girls committee
But hey, whatever helps, keep on tellin' yourself
I'm not pretty"

Flipping from talking to the girl to talking in general, Moroney paints the picture of what happened, but this time adding what she imagines the conversation is like on that side of the phone.

With a scrumptious cascading melody, we see how the new girlfriend's judgments have fixated on Moroney's physical appearance, but rather than getting even, Moroney just shakes it off and moves along with her day.

The phrase "queen of the mean girls committee" was a lyrical gift from Micah Carpenter, who was inspired by the 2004 movie, Mean Girls. In search of something to rhyme with the title, they were worried that the phrasing wouldn't make sense outside of the writer's room. Lucky for us, though, it made the cut and serves as a perfect tongue-in-cheek moment in the tune.

"Girl, let me guess, you don't like how I dress
And you're hatin' on the way I talk (Bless your heart)
Give me a break, learn to sew, bake a cake
Take a walk, and while you're at it, get lost"

The assumed judgements from the new girlfriend continue into the second verse as the list just keeps going on.

As opposed to entertaining the ridiculousness any further, Moroney simply encourage's the jealous girl to find better ways to spend her time than trying to tear Moroney down. Maybe she could learn to sew or bake a cake or go touch some grass... really anything will do.

"Somewhere out there my ex-boyfriend's
New girlfriend's scrollin' through my Instagram
Tearin' me down, passin' the phone around
Like there's nothin' better to talk about
Zoomin' out, zoomin' in, overanalyzin'
Like the queen of the mean girls committee
But hey, whatever helps, keep on tellin' yourself
I'm not pretty"

What has Megan Moroney said about ‘I'm Not Pretty’?

During the rollout of her Lucky, Moroney knew that 'I'm Not Pretty' was eventually going to be a single, and hopefully a special one for the girlies.

To accompany the single announcement, she shared in a press release: "It’s a mostly true story (you can find the Spring Break throwback pic on my Instagram) but not meant to be taken too seriously. I think everyone can relate to somebody keeping tabs on them on social media. It was fun to write and to sing, and hopefully will become an anthem for the girls".

Expanding on that sentiment and diving deeper into the song's backstory, Moroney visited The Bobby Bones Show in April of 2023 to chat about the song, saying, "When I'm writing songs like [I'm Not Pretty'], I went through that situation and I'm like, 'What would make me feel better?' I'm taking this [experience] and making this song that makes girls feel confident. It happens to everybody so everybody gets it. I could have gotten mad and said something, but instead I'm just gonna write this".

When you look at Moroney's catalogue as a whole, there's a thread of honesty and relatability that's woven through each song. The songs that she writes and sings are experiences and situations that, while they are ultimately unique to her, are also widely felt among young girls and women today.

As she explains to Billboard's Tim Roland, “I think everyone’s been ‘creeped on,’ or you’ve done the creeping yourself. I’ve been on both sides of this story. Sometimes you really want your ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend to not be pretty, but she is. And that’s kind of just where the title came from”.

It's that sense of shared human experience that will propel Moroney and 'I'm Not Pretty' to the top of the country charts once again.

For the full lyrics to Megan Moroney's ‘I'm Not Pretty,’ see below:

I bet one of his friends let my name slip again
And it sent you down the rabbit hole spinnin'
Now you know I sing, know my sign, know my drink
Size me up in a matter of minutes
Did you mean to double-tap that spring break throwback
From 2016 in PCB?

Somewhere out there my ex-boyfriend's
New girlfriend's scrollin' through my Instagram
Tearin' me down, passin' the phone around
Like there's nothin' better to talk about
Zoomin' out, zoomin' in, overanalyzin'
Like the queen of the mean girls committee
But hey, whatever helps, keep on tellin' yourself
I'm not pretty

Girl, let me guess, you don't like how I dress
And you're hatin' on the way I talk (Bless your heart)
Give me a break, learn to sew, bake a cake
Take a walk, and while you're at it, get lost

Somewhere out there my ex-boyfriend's
New girlfriend's scrollin' through my Instagram
Tearin' me down, passin' the phone around
Like there's nothin' better to talk about
Zoomin' out, zoomin' in, overanalyzin'
Like the queen of the mean girls committee
But hey, whatever helps, keep on tellin' yourself
I'm not pretty

I'm not pretty, I'm not cool
I'm just one of those girls that peaked in high school
(Yeah, right)

Somewhere out there my ex-boyfriend's
New girlfriend's scrollin' through my Instagram
Tearin' me down, passin' the phone around
Like there's nothin' better to talk about
Zoomin' out, zoomin' in, overanalyzin'
Like the queen of the mean girls committee
But hey, whatever helps, keep on tellin' yourself
I'm not pretty

I'm not pretty
Yeah, right

For more on Megan Moroney, see below:

Written by Lydia Farthing
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