Ed Sheeran (Ft. Khalid) – “Beautiful People” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

Ed Sheeran and Khalid paint a picture of the glamorous L.A. lifestyle, where everyone is in the limelight, but something feels off. The song tells a tale of two souls who find themselves amid this spectacle but realize they don’t quite belong. It’s about staying true to who you are, not getting lost in the allure of “beautiful people”, and the pressure to fit into a superficial mold. Ed and Khalid remind us of the importance of authenticity and cherishing genuine connections.

Do you feel like there’s more to life than what’s on the surface? Journey with Ed and Khalid as they navigate the flashy world of L.A. nights.

“Beautiful People” Lyrics Meaning

Starting off, “L.A. on a Saturday night in the summer” immediately sets the scene. The City of Angels, known for its glitz and glam, is vibrant, especially on a summer night. But amidst the fancy cars like “Lamborghinis and rented Hummers”, not everything’s as shiny as it seems.

The line “Everybody’s looking for a come up” hints at the constant chase in this city. Everyone wants to be someone, to be noticed, and in the middle of this chaos, the singer finds himself with the one he loves. Yet, even in love, there’s a sense of displacement – “We don’t fit in well”.

“You look stunning, dear, so don’t ask that question here.” It’s a shoutout to the superficial compliments that are often exchanged in such settings. Genuine compliments feel rare. The fear? Becoming one of those “beautiful people” – those who value materialistic achievements and superficial beauty over genuine human connections.

Jumping to the chorus, we’re shown the lifestyle of these “beautiful people”. Designer clothes, fashion shows, champagne, and of course, the age-old questions, “What d’you do?” and “Who d’you know?” It’s a world where people often feel “surrounded, but still alone”. The irony? They have everything, yet feel nothing.

“Let’s leave the party, that’s not who we are” is a direct rejection of this superficial world. It’s a call to remain grounded, to prioritize real connections over fleeting fame or fortune.

Then, there’s a brief change in tone. “L.A. drove for hours last night and we made it nowhere”. Here, L.A. symbolizes the unending quest for success and recognition. But despite the city’s charm, the singers see stars not in the sky, but amid the distractions. They’re “not fazed by all them lights and flashin’ cameras”. The message is clear: true connection and love outshine the brightest lights of fame. With genuine love and trust, there’s no need for the external validation that the city offers.

Wrapping it up, the song re-emphasizes its central message in the repeated lines, “We are not beautiful.” This isn’t a jab at their own self-worth but rather a proud declaration of their refusal to fit into the superficial definition of beauty and success. They’re distancing themselves from the societal notion of ‘beautiful people’ – those who prioritize surface over substance.

The Story Behind “Beautiful People”

When Ed Sheeran collaborated with Khalid for “Beautiful People,” they both were at significant points in their careers, surrounded by the allure of fame and its trappings. Yet, this song was their way of voicing the dissonance they felt.

Ed, known for his down-to-earth nature, has always expressed his struggles with the celebrity lifestyle. This song is a reflection of his observations and personal feelings toward the superficial side of fame. He wanted to underscore that there’s more to life than the glamour portrayed.

Khalid, resonating with this theme, brought his own experiences to the table. Both artists have faced the pressures of the industry and the seductive pull of the limelight. Yet, they wanted to remind themselves, and their listeners, of the importance of authenticity.

“Beautiful People” is more than just a catchy tune; it’s a call to stay grounded. It serves as a reminder that in a world obsessed with appearances, real beauty lies in being true to oneself.