This song was released in May 2018. I feel as though in 2018 the normalization of eating disorders truly began to become a thing. It seems as if so many people were scared to admit it and ashamed of their disorder but this song was really a vulnerable and personal song that explained Florence’s own experience. Teenagers are really susceptible to eating disorders due to societal factors, mental factors, anxiety, stress, body dysmorphia etc. Your later teens is when one really recognizes, I think, that they could be struggling with disordered eating of some sorts. The song starts off by saying, “At 17, I started to starve myself”. This explains not only the pivotal, and relatable age she was at, but it also really set the tone and mood for the rest of the song. You immediately knew what the song was going to be about and it was intriguing, almost like you wanted to hear the rest of the story. 

One correlation I made was that this song is a feminist anthem and song that empowers women. In 2017 was when the #metoo hashtag went really viral. I am unsure if maybe this spread of openness and vulnerability helped Florence to feel brave enough to speak out about her own issues. Of course in 2017 there was also the inauguration of Trump, which really made many women fear what was to come for them. In 2018 the Women’s Movement really started to infiltrate into the mainstream and get discussed and no longer was looked over. The Women’s March in 2018 was a really big one and led to a lot of movement, traction and respect to be formed. Women began to be heard and they were telling their personal stories. I think Florence was also telling her own story.

In her song she says, “The way you use your body, baby, come on and work it for me…And I could never get enough I thought that love was on the stage You give yourself to strangers”. In this song she talks a bit about wanting to find herself and finding love. She speaks about how confused she was when she was younger and how that confusion led to her searching for love in all these wrong places and all these people. This song is tribulation to the fact that through all the searching she ended up never finding it which made her one, feel alone and then two, led her to not loving herself. I think this lack of self love is what led to the eating disorder. She’s talking about hunger, and yes, literal hunger from starving herself but also hunger for people, love, happiness, etc. I think we’ve all been there. We have this hunger for wanting more as in we romanticize, wish, hope, desire and just crave whatever it may be. 

I want to put in here a line that Florence had written on her instagram after this song was released and it said; “It was a poem, written in an effort to understand the ways I looked for love in things that were not love. I was never thinking it would be a song, but maybe that’s the point. And by singing it out loud, together we become a choir, a chorus, higher than the hurt, louder than loneliness…“a celebration of how much I see young people changings things, like, ‘No, I wanna look this way.’ They’re just so switched on and engaged and they’re not gonna be told how they should look and behave. I was really lost when I was a teenager, I was really confused and sad, so I feel really inspired by the young women I see today.” 

What I find interesting about this is that this relates to the context of the song for she is the one who wrote the song as well as sang the song. Florence wrote this song as a poem but then people helped her in making the poem more into a song and it turned into this. I think this is important to note for it shows the passion and legitimacy behind every word she says. This is basically her reading an open letter to the world about her eating disorder, her loneliness, and her self destruction that she was falling into. (Paragraph 2 for reference)

It was interesting to me when I read that she had said the part about the song being a celebration of how she sees young women today and how they do stand up for themselves and take power in who they are. I found this to be a bit confusing for I think a lot more people feel the way that she feels in the song about themselves. I think she almost overestimated today’s youth because if anything I think in 2021 young generations are even more confused and nitpicking their bodies since it has become such a normalized thing. I think Florence’s song spoke as an anthem for women to relate to and acted like an almost ah-ha moment when they realized that she feels the way they do so let’s sing and scream, and dance it out. “We all have a hunger”. (In discussion of the relatability and comfort it brings to others)

Another point is that Florence had not even told her own mom that she was struggling with an eating disorder until this song came out and she heard it. I think so many people are afraid to tell their parents about their eating disorder for the fear of being rejected or hurting the ones they love so they just hold it in. It was interesting that someone to her magnitude did the same thing as anyone else would. 

The genre of this song is Indie Rock, this genre in itself is already so in touch with its emotions and I think this song really highlighted that and stood exactly for what the genre works to do. Indie Rock is something that is hard edged and abrupt and this song definitely is that with the blunt words and then the almost haunting behind the words hunger when it just keeps repeating it just keeps hitting back to sink into the listener. I think indie music really allows artists to break away from the mainstream and be creative and show who they really are not just who they are expected to be because they are famous singers. Indie is more personal and inviting in a sense. This song is an example of how personal music can be and how touching and relatable it can be to a listener. Songs like this really make people feel something, feel connected, and a lot less alone.