Premiere: Stephanie Lambring’s Haunting “Cover Girl” Reckons with Dysmorphia, Authenticity, & the Pressures of Social Media

Stephanie Lambring © Alysse Gafkjen
Stephanie Lambring © Alysse Gafkjen
Singer/songwriter Stephanie Lambring confronts the pressures of our social media-driven world in”Cover Girl,” a brooding and breathtakingly visceral song that, together with its haunting music video, exposes false authenticity, body dysmorphia, and the feedback loops that keep us hooked up to a toxic digital world.
Stream: “Cover Girl” – Stephanie Lambring




She writes, “Beauty’s on the inside” underneath a picture of her good side…

Social media really is the modern-day horror story.

For over twenty years now, we have been living double lives: One in the physical space, the other in the digital realm. At first glance, those two identities look relatively similar to each other – after all, your digital identity is supposedly a reflection of your physical life, isn’t it?

Isn’t it?

Life is more complex than an Instagram post or 280 characters could ever convey, and yet we use these vessels as a window to see into others’ lives, and conversely, as a window for others to see into our lives. As individuals, and as a society, we have enabled and empowered social media platforms to dictate how we present ourselves to the world, and what we show… as well as what we don’t show.

Even at their most complex, our digital identities are whitewashed and simplified – made for mass consumption and “likes” – but when all you’re seeing are the highlights, the filters, and various versions of a rose-colored world, you begin to compare and contrast it with your own. Research and studies coming out of the National Institutes of Health, the American Psychological Association, Cleveland Clinic, and more highlight (and warn of) a direct, negative relationship between social media use and mental health, especially in children and young adults. Social media use is associated with an increase in depression and anxiety, misperception of body image, addiction, and beyond.

We’ve allowed these toxic tools to take over our lives and do real, lasting harm, and in Stephanie Lambring’s latest single and music video, this dark truth – and all that it entails – is brought to light for all to see, hear, and feel. The singer/songwriter exposes and confronts the pressures of our social media-driven world in “Cover Girl,” a brooding and breathtakingly visceral song wrestling with false authenticity, body dysmorphia, and the feedback loops that keep us hooked up to a deeply toxic – and often times dangerous – digital world.

Hypocrite - Stephanie Lambring
Hypocrite – Stephanie Lambring
She writes, “Beauty’s on the inside”
Underneath a picture of her good side
She watches on standby
As we tell her she’s pretty
She says, “Don’t let ‘em get to you
There’s no perfect body to aspire to”
But she can’t help but tell you when she’s gained a few
And we tell her she’s skinny
Cover girl for inner beauty
Shine it up and sell it to me
We don’t have to believe it, do we?
Do we? Do we?

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the Elise Davis-directed music video for “Cover Girl,” the fourth and final single off Stephanie Lambring’s highly anticipated new album, Hypocrite. Following her songs “Good Mother,” “Two-Faced,” and “Hospital Parking” – each of which has showcased another side of Lambring’s artistry – “Cover Girl” is heavy, aching, urgent, and immediate. It’s also the album’s opener, setting a powerful and provocative tone for a record that “looks for the best by reckoning with the worst,” as it’s been described.

“They say the things you dislike about yourself are the things you call out the most in other people,” Lambring shares, “and with this album, I wanted to see what would happen if I called myself out instead. I think there’d be a lot more harmony in the world if we could just own up to our own shortcomings and forgive ourselves in the process.”

“I’m not afraid of the uncomfortable. Oddly enough, I think you can actually find a lot of comfort in exploring it, in facing it head on and seeing it for what it really is.”

Stephanie Lambring © Alysse Gafkjen
Stephanie Lambring © Alysse Gafkjen



Sweltering synthesized bass tones and cool, shuffling drums lay a striking sonic foundation as “Cover Girl” commences. “She writes, ‘beauty’s on the inside’ underneath a picture of her good side,”  Lambring sings hot on the mic, her voice a beacon of warmth and pain as a familiar, yet nonetheless shiver-inducing social media-driven tragedy commences. “She watches on standby as we tell her she’s pretty.”

The point of this song is not to call out those who falsify their lives on social media, but rather, to address our complicity in the fraud and its coverup. For as “progressive” as Western society tries to be, we are tragically driven by looks and likes – and we all perpetuate this cycle when we engage with it online. The song’s protagonist – a supposed “cover girl for inner beauty” who “can’t help but tell you when she’s gained a few” – is a flawed, false idol, but she is by no means a lone actor. As Lambring calls out in song, “And we tell her she’s skinny.” Society preserves, maintains, and sustains shameful stigmas around weight, social behavior, lifestyle… and social media is its vessel de choix.

“I guess you could say that this song is my beef with social media, and the inconsistencies between how we really feel and how we feel like we need to present,” Lambring tells Atwood Magazine. “How blasting authenticity doesn’t really feel all that authentic. I see it in myself at times. I’m calling it out, while also hoping this song offers grace and compassion for ourselves.”

She swears you have to love yourself
Notes stuck on mirrors and beers and kitchen shelves
She doesn’t realize she’s the hardest sell
Under all the affirmations
She goes to get her lips done
Guess somebody must’ve messed up
Now she’s cryin’ to the camera
Being real about her fakeness
Stephanie Lambring © Alysse Gafkjen
Stephanie Lambring © Alysse Gafkjen



Lambring’s “Cover Girl” music video elevates the song’s message and enhances its warning through a breathtaking portrayal of a “real life” influencer. Filmed and edited by Jason Morant and starring Allison Schioppa as the ‘cover girl’ herself, the visual reveals the tension between the physical and digital worlds, as all those posts are not what they appear to be. It starts with the cover girl walking into a room, snapping a selfie on a treadmill, and calling it a “post-workout” shot… and ends with her alone, on her couch, pouring a puzzle onto her coffee table and writing, “Friday night puzzles with friends”… and proceeding to keep staring at her phone, scrolling through her timeline while waiting for likes and comments to populate.

It’s a sickening cycle, and it hurts to watch it borne out – even if we keep in mind that Schioppa is just an actress, and her apartment is just a set. The authenticity of her posts may be severely lacking, but her performance, set to Lambring’s soul-stirring music, is chilling.

“I wasn’t going to make a video because I didn’t have a clear vision and it all felt overwhelming,” Lambring says. “I kept feeling a nudge to reach out to my friends Elise Davis and Jason Morant. I’ve worked with them before, and there is a mutual respect and trust. Sometimes I’ll watch a music video and wonder why it exists – not necessarily that the video takes away from the song, but sometimes it’s just confusing. In this case, the video adds. It makes the song hit harder. Hurt more. I’m so grateful Elise and Jason had a vision for this song. It’s powerful.”

Stephanie Lambring © Alysse Gafkjen
Stephanie Lambring © Alysse Gafkjen



All told, “Cover Girl” is bold, beautiful, and brutally honest. Lambring holds a mirror up to society and forces us to see ourselves for who we really are – and that image isn’t too “pretty,” to use a buzzword. “Cover girl for inner beauty, shine it up and sell it to me,” Lambring asserts in a gut-wrenching, heartrending chorus. “We don’t have to believe it, do we?

Do we?

Lambring provokes us to think inwardly and outwardly about social media’s negative impacts on our mental health; how it perpetuates poor body image and dysmorphia issues, how it pressures us to forge narratives and falsify images of our lives to make them seem more “exciting” and engaging to friends, family, fans, and followers.

And in the end, where do we end up? On the couch, in the dark, lonelier than ever.

Watch the striking “Cover Girl” music video exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stream Stephanie Lambring’s sophomore album Hypocrite upon its release on April 19, 2024!

Cover girl for inner beauty
Shine it up and sell it to me
We don’t have to believe it, do we?
Do we?
Cover girl for inner beauty
Shine it up and sell it to me
We don’t wanna believe it, do we?
Do we? Do we?

— —

:: stream/purchase Hypocrite here ::
:: connect with Stephanie Lambring here ::
Stream: “Cover Girl” – Stephanie Lambring



— — — —

Hypocrite - Stephanie Lambring

Connect to Stephanie Lambring on
Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram
Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
? © Alysse Gafkjen

:: Stream Stephanie Lambring ::



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