For a couple of days, a corner of the internet was speculating which same-haired celebrity Charli XCX was referencing in "Girl, So Confusing", a song from her latest album Brat. Someone who sounded like the English singer wasn't quite a fan of, but didn't exactly seem to be hating on either.

Then the new single dropped and she called it: the Internet did indeed go crazy.


Was there a feud to begin with?

As their lyrics spell out: It's you and me on the coin / The industry loves to spend

The timeline (great, I'm now said industry) will tell that the two female artists shared the era that their respective careers took off. Top the semi-simultaneous debut with certain aesthetic parallels, and comparisons (confusion, for a specific interviewer in 2014) ensued. Rather than capitalise on the drama pitting women against women, XCX took an unprecedented spin on the narrative. She worked it out on the remix.

Girl, Less Confusing

Not to join the overnight literary students who may be dissecting the discourse and romanticising what it means to be a Girl's Girl, I'll freely admit that Lorde's echoing verses still give me goosebumps.

There's a lot more written vulnerability that reads deeper than simply driving marketing for album sales. There are no overly-poetic metaphors hiding the jealousy and self-doubt (plus weight/image struggles!) that resonate all too well with anyone who is/has been a girl.

The key visual is a clever touch too. Whether intentional or not, having herself back-facing the viewer in the forefront almost feels like she's representing Lorde, whose mutual likeness they already acknowledge in the remix.

A mirror dividing the two personas adds to a foundational truth behind feuds: The self.

As much as both versions depict navigating the byproduct complexities of being a girl, the issue isn't women-only. Here's a free therapy session—if we are truly at peace with ourselves, the opinion of others wouldn't do much to jeopardise that.

And that could be the point of reflection here. When we are self-assured with our egos, it wouldn't matter whether the opinion is accurate, or if the person giving it has influence.

You wouldn't fight to justify yourself by turning your own projections into a rivalry; to feel good about yourself if the outcome swings sentiment in your favour against your "foe".

In the business of beef-squashing

This isn't the first time Charli XCX went olive-branching. In "Just Desserts", the collaboration similarly puts to bed a spat with fellow indie-pop singer Marina Diamandis. Who, as the other same-haired rumoured subject of "Girl, So Confusing", also had something to say.

The polar opposite of a diss track

As one commenter suggests, that's essentially what the song is. And perhaps that's a lesson for any trending feud, not just among the hip-hop community where beef is so very profitable.

Sure, circumstances could be different where no prior friendship was established between both parties. Yet, taking moral high ground can exist in publicly handling private insecurities. Especially with the fame-bestowed obligation to be a role model that prolific individuals often forget they have these days.

Via this commercially and culturally viral hit, Charli XCX just proved that doing so can be just as, if not more, impactful.