Skinny love is a term you might have come across in songs, conversations, or even on social media. It refers to a relationship where two people have deep affection for each other but are too shy or fearful to express their emotions fully. Understanding skinny love is important because it captures a very specific and personal human experience.
Skinny Love Meaning
What Does “Skinny Love” Mean?
The phrase “skinny love” has two separate meanings, both of which are linked to relationships. The first meaning refers to a love that is weak and fragile, lacking any substance and foundation. It is a love that is starving and cannot sustain itself. The lovers maintain the relationship not because they love one another but because they feel that they need it.
The second meaning of “skinny love” refers to two people who have very strong feelings for each other, but are too shy or reserved to express it openly. It is a love that is hidden, or “skinny,” because it is not fully expressed. This type of love can be found in many different types of relationships, from romantic to platonic.
Origin of “Skinny Love”
The indie-folk band Bon Iver released the song “Skinny Love” in 2007, which became their most well-known song. The band’s frontman, Justin Vernon, explained that the song was about a love that is weak and lacking in substance. He described “skinny love” as a love that is “starving” and “without foundation.”
In the song, Vernon sings about a relationship that is falling apart, with the lovers holding on to each other out of desperation rather than love. The singer continues to ask for love, attention, and affection from his significant other, but it is clear that the relationship is doomed to fail.
Usage in Contemporary Slang
In contemporary slang, Skinny Love refers to a relationship where the affection is thin or not fully developed. It’s often used to describe a situation where two individuals have feelings for each other but those feelings are not robust or well-established. This could be due to a number of causes, such as fear of commitment or an imbalance in emotional investment between the partners.
- Unreciprocated Feelings: If you’re in a situation where one person has stronger feelings than the other, you might be experiencing skinny love.
- Lack of Nurturing: Sometimes relationships don’t get the right environment to grow. If yours lacks attention and care, you could refer to it as skinny love.
- Fear of Commitment: When partners hesitate to deepen their connection, possibly due to past hurts or uncertainty about the future, the term can apply.
This slang is often used among younger generations and can carry a slightly melancholic or rueful tone. It captures the fragility of a budding romance that hasn’t quite taken root. Remember that while skinny love may imply a love that is not fully formed, it doesn’t necessarily denote a lack of potential for a deeper connection.
In the first verse of Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love”, the narrator is pleading with their lover to stay in the relationship despite knowing that it is not healthy. The line “And I told you to be patient / And I told you to be fine” suggests that the narrator has previously tried to reassure their partner that things will get better, but they are now at a breaking point. The use of the word “patient” implies that the relationship has been struggling for some time, and the narrator is asking for more time to try to make things work.
The next line, “And I told you to be balanced / And I told you to be kind,” highlights the narrator’s desire for their partner to have a more stable and compassionate approach to the relationship. The use of the word “balanced” suggests that the narrator feels that their partner is not putting in enough effort to maintain the relationship. The repetition of “and I told you” emphasizes the narrator’s frustration and desperation.
The final line of the verse, “And in the morning I’ll be with you / But it will be a different kind,” suggests that the narrator is willing to continue the relationship, but it will have to change in some way. The use of the word “different” implies that the narrator is not sure what the future holds for the relationship, but they are willing to try to make it work.
The chorus of “Skinny Love” is a repetition of the phrase “Come on, skinny love, just last the year.” The use of the word “skinny” suggests that the love between the narrator and their partner is fragile and lacking in substance. The repetition of the phrase “just last the year” implies that the narrator is not sure if the relationship will survive for much longer.
The next line, “Pour a little salt, we were never here,” suggests that the narrator is willing to forget about the problems in the relationship and start fresh. The use of the phrase “pour a little salt” implies that the narrator is willing to take some sort of action to make things better.
The final line of the chorus, “My my my, my my my, my my,” is a repetition of a nonsensical phrase. The use of this phrase adds to the overall feeling of desperation and confusion in the song.
Music Industry Influence
Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” has had a significant impact on the music industry since its release in 2007. The song’s popularity has led to numerous covers by other artists, including Birdy, Ed Sheeran, and Taylor Swift. In addition, the song has been used in various films, television shows, and commercials, increasing its exposure to a wider audience.
The success of “Skinny Love” has also influenced the music industry in terms of songwriting and production. The song’s stripped-down, acoustic sound has become a popular style in indie and alternative music. Many artists have attempted to replicate the emotional intensity of “Skinny Love” in their own music, leading to a rise in the popularity of folk-inspired music.
The lyrics of “Skinny Love” have resonated with many people, leading to a widespread emotional connection to the song. The song’s themes of heartbreak, loneliness, and desperation have struck a chord with listeners, particularly those who have experienced similar emotions in their own lives.
However, the meaning of “skinny love” has been subject to interpretation and debate. Some believe that the term refers to a love that is superficial or insincere, while others interpret it as a love that is fragile and in need of nurturing. This ambiguity has contributed to the song’s enduring popularity, as listeners continue to find their own meanings in the lyrics.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who originally wrote ‘Skinny Love’?
‘Skinny Love’ was originally written by Justin Vernon, who is also known as Bon Iver. The song was first released on Bon Iver’s debut album ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ in 2007.
What is the meaning behind the lyrics of ‘Skinny Love’?
The lyrics of ‘Skinny Love’ describe a love that is fragile and lacking in substance. The narrator is pleading for the relationship to work, despite knowing that it ultimately will have to end. The phrase ‘skinny love’ refers to a love that is starving because it lacks any real depth or foundation.
What genre of music is ‘Skinny Love’?
‘Skinny Love’ is a folk song with elements of indie and alternative rock. The song is characterized by its haunting melody and sparse instrumentation, which includes acoustic guitar and Vernon’s distinctive falsetto vocals.
What are some popular covers of ‘Skinny Love’?
‘Skinny Love’ has been covered by a number of artists, including British singer Birdy, who had a hit with her version of the song in 2011. Other notable covers include versions by Ed Sheeran, Bon Iver collaborator St. Vincent, and American Idol contestant David Cook.
Has ‘Skinny Love’ been featured in any movies or TV shows?
Yes, ‘Skinny Love’ has been featured in several movies and TV shows, including the HBO series ‘Girls’, the movie ‘The Fault in Our Stars‘, and the TV show ‘The Blacklist’. The song’s haunting melody and emotional lyrics make it a popular choice for use in dramatic and romantic scenes.
What is the significance of the title ‘Skinny Love’?
The title ‘Skinny Love’ is significant because it encapsulates the central theme of the song – a love that is lacking in substance and depth. The phrase ‘skinny love’ suggests a love that is fragile and unsustainable, and the song’s lyrics explore the ways in which this kind of love can be both painful and beautiful.