Supermodel

Album: Jill Sobule (1995)

Songfacts®:

  • This was written by David Baerwald, formerly of the rock duo David & David, and composer David Kitay for the 1995 movie Clueless, but was included on Jill Sobule's debut album a few months before the movie's release. The song was used in a makeover montage to capture the essence of life as a teenage girl in Beverly Hills, where being skinny enough and pretty enough to make other girls green with envy is a major life goal. Baerwald was far from being a trendy schoolgirl, so he turned to teen magazines for advice.

    "I remember thinking, 'Oh I don't know how teenage girls think,'" Baerwald told Flavorwire. "So I got an issue of Sassy Magazine and I read the letters to the editor. I think even got lyrics from the letters page. Every demographic has its way of talking, and I wanted to capture a sense of the rhythm and the kinds of things girls were talking about. I thought Sassy was really cool!"
  • Sobule, who wrote and originally performed the Katy Perry hit "I Kissed A Girl," agreed to sing this only if she could add some input, which resulted in a lyric about anorexia. She told Nylon: "So I thought, I'm going to add in the 'I didn't eat yesterday, I didn't eat today, I didn't eat tomorrow so I'm gonna be a supermodel' bridge to bring some social consciousness. In the '80s for three years I had an eating disorder. So it came to me and I had my three cents; my kind of sense of humor, but with a purpose."
  • Sobule thought Clueless was going to be "some dumb teenage movie" but changed her tune after seeing the film. "I saw the movie and thought it was freaking great," she said. "It was feminist and I thought this was gonna be good for the girls. I was surprised and hated myself for having a bad attitude at first."
  • Sobule's career stalled commercially by the end of the decade, and Clueless music supervisor Karyn Rachtman thinks the song may have had something to do with it. "I really love Jill Sobule, but I think 'Supermodel' might have been the death of her career," she explained. "Her first song, 'I Kissed a Girl,' was a novelty song, and then this song kind of had a novelty feel to it."

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