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  • Laurie Frankel

Cyrus song incites flower-buying craze. Women still feel like lousy but claim house smells better.

Updated: Sep 3, 2023

Yet another song about an angry/hurt woman in the aftermath of a failed relationship disguised as female empowerment. Where’s Helen Reddy when you need her?

photo of Helen Reddy and Ouija Board
You know where to find me.

I can’t tell you exactly what female empowerment is, but I know it’s not “Flowers,” Miley Cyrus’ latest hit which debuted at #1 on Billboard Hot 100.

Lyric analysis, let’s begin:

We were good, we were gold - understood—great relationship, clearly early days.

Kinda dream that can’t be sold - hold up. I think she means it’s the kind of dream that can’t be bought because who would want to sell their dream? Romantic relationships are hard to come by so while it would be nice to be able to go out that's not how it works, Instead, it just has to happen (or not,) magically, over time, (like trying to go viral on social media with a

closet full of ugly bridesmaid dresses.
The point of the this dress is to make damn sure the bride looks awesome...

blog post about a singer who can buy herself flowers) which is why there are so many movies about women and their closets filled with bridesmaid dresses (hint: do what I do, leave it in the closet…of the hotel room) but gold/bought doesn’t rhyme so “sold” will have to do even though it makes no sense (to me.) -10 points. Moving on.

We were right ’til we weren’t - I feel you, sister.

Built a home and watched it burn - nice.

Mm, I didn’t wanna leave you - they were “gold,” why would she?

I didn’t wanna lie - hold up #2. Lie? About what? The fact it wasn’t gold anymore? To herself? Did she cheat? Did he? Another rhyming dilemma? Thesaurus anyone?

Started to cry, but then remembered I…can buy myself flowers - and here’s where I really run into problems. Sure Miley or as we say in a writing critique group, “the Author” can buy herself flowers or her assistant can but how good does that feel? I’ve bought myself flowers, a nice, mixed spring bouquet at Trader Joe’s or an orchid (that dies after 2 months and then am left with a nice ceramic jar to repurpose,) but I've never bought myself flowers in the immediate aftermath of a significant breakup as a way to make myself feel better. Because it wouldn’t. In fact, it would make me feel worse, like I was trying too hard to pretend I was fine with having my heart ripped out and BBQ’d. This sort of flower buying, let’s call it…er…“denial” would just visually remind me of the hari-kari pain of the breakup and wishing it were otherwise. To heal searing psychic pain like that, how about: getting drunk, running a marathon, buying lots of clothes, covering the mirrors or annoying friends with endless calls? Perhaps all of the above, but do not, whatever you do, buy yourself some goddamn flowers. Dear Lord.

drawing of female doing battle ropes
Directions: pretend they're your ex...

The song continues (otherwise it’d be ridiculously short) with a list of the stereotypical romantic things a partner does that the Author can now do for herself including writing on sand, talking ad nauseam, speaking unintelligibly, dancing solo, holding her own hand and, per the video, doing “battle ropes,” ie holding two ropes the size of pythons and shaking the shit out of them as a means of getting those nice cutlines in your stomach. I know because I do that I mean I googled it.

Let’s break it down:

I can buy myself flowers - got it, see above.

Write my name in the sand - this, I’d like to see. I mean literally. Would the Author use a stick? Her big toe? And then after writing I heart Miley I mean Author she would do what? Laugh? Cartwheel? Walk off into the sunset…holding her own hand?

Talk to myself for hours - hold up #3 and, no, don’t do this. Occasionally, I mumble a line or two about something I want to remember or go on to the dog about how disgusting that month-old carton of milk smells but there is no talking in the presence of no one for hours. That shit will get you locked up. Just ask Britney. I’d like to replace this line with, “talk to whoever listens,” (same syllable count, done!)

Say things you don’t understand - what? Not understand why? TBI? Speaking in tongues? Discussing quantum theory? Explaining an emotional state to a man? Now that she’s out of the relationship is she going to say these same curiously confusing things to herself OR come up with things even she doesn’t understand and say them perhaps as part of the aforementioned hours-long talk? I used the Ouija Board, summoned the great Ms. Reddy and she agrees—nothing to roar about here.

Hollywood secrets fashion tape packaging
Holding the twins in place since 2001.

I can take myself dancing - I’m trying to picture the Author queuing up at a dance club by herself and dancing alone because “take myself” usually means leaving the house/going to an establishment. Maybe, as in the video, she means dancing like a banshee, shirtless in an oversized smoking jacket with serious Hollywood tape and good editing (because there

are no aureolas in sight.) Edit suggestion: “I can dance in my own house.”

And I can hold my own hand. So can we all. But do we? No. Why? Because depending on your grip, you either look like you’re closing a business deal (with yourself) or in a state of constant prayer. That and it vastly limits the use of one’s opposable thumbs which are super handy. I understand this line is metaphorical but given the others are not well, I have to take it seriously. It’s my job.

6 photos of various ways to hold one's own hand
Trade and collect all 6.

The song goes on to summarize, several ways to Sunday, that in addition to all the above solo activities she can also love herself better than her former lover ever could. Helen (via Ouija) says, “Sounds like sour grapes to me.”

I have to agree. The tip off? The video of Author swimming/

running/slinking about in a teeny weeny black bikini, shaking her…battle ropes signaling, Hey ex, look at the hotness you passed up! If Author was really so Zen about her breakup, she’d be quietly mumbling incomprehensibly to herself on the beach while dancing with flowers versus singing about it… millions.

As we all know, breakups suck, but I imagine they suck less when you make a shit ton of money on a #1 song about how “self-empowered” you feel after divorcing the love of your life who sometimes/often/always had no idea what you were saying.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to buy myself some flowers not because I’m so good at loving myself but because they’re on sale at Whole Foods.

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