Sabrina Carpenter is setting the record straight. After she dropped her new single, "Skin," on Jan. 22, fans immediately broke down the lyrics and guessed it was her response to Olivia Rodrigo's song that's seemingly about Carpenter, "Drivers License." Now, Sabrina Carpenter's Instagram about the meaning of "Skin" explains exactly what fans got right, and wrong, about the single.
When Rodrigo released her emotional breakup song "Drivers License" on Jan. 8, it didn't take long for fans to connect the dots within the lyrics. They guessed it was about her rumored relationship with her High School Musical: The Musical: The Series co-star Joshua Bassett. The first line, "I got my driver's license last week, like we always talked about," immediately set off alarm bells in fans' heads who recalled Rodrigo had gotten a driving lesson from Bassett in the past. The lyrics about Rodrigo's ex moving on with an older blonde girl had fans pointing their fingers at Bassett's current rumored girlfriend, Carpenter.
Carpenter's "Skin" lyrics were just as pointed as Rodrigo's, so fans guessed it was her response to the HSM star from the first line, in which Carpenter sings,
Maybe we could've been friends if I met you in another life / Maybe then we could pretend there's no gravity in the words we write / Maybe you didn't mean it / Maybe "blonde" was the only rhyme
Each singer's account of the events that inspired their songs had fans taking sides, so late on Sunday, Jan. 24, Carpenter attempted to cool the waters and explain there's no bad blood between her and Rodrigo, even if "Skin" is about her in some capacity.
"Thank you to everyone who has listened to skin, especially those who have opened their minds to lyrically what i was trying to get across," Carpenter wrote on Instagram. "I wasn’t bothered by a few lines in a (magnificent) song and wrote a diss track about it."
In the end, Carpenter wanted fans to know that, while a few lines are about Rodrigo and "Drivers License," the song is more a message to her younger self, recounting to her all the lessons about dealing with rumors and haters that she now knows at the age of 21. She continued, writing,
I was at a tipping point in my life for countless reasons. so i was inspired to do what i usually do to cope, write something that i wish i could have told myself in the past. People can only get to you if you give them the power to. and a lot of people were trying to get to me. the song isn’t calling out one single person. some lines address a specific situation, while other lines address plenty of other experiences I’ve had this past year... it also shows that many things have actually gotten under my skin... and I’m still learning to not give other people so much power over my feelings. I know a lot of you struggle with the same thing.
Carpenter ended her Instagram with a request that fans not turn her and Rodrigo's songs into a hate war. "i don’t want this to become an endless cycle, so please don’t take this as an opportunity to send more hate anyone’s way," she wrote. "lots of love to u all. thanks for letting me grow."
Both Carpenter and Rodrigo seem to understand the therapeutic power of writing a song about your feelings, so hopefully, the next step in moving on from their "Drivers License" saga is teaming up and writing the ultimate girl power anthem. It's what the world needs, ladies.