Nelly Furtado, circa 2001. Her hair is in a bun, and she’s lying in a forest clearing, singing about how she’s like a bird. The only bird–based liberation poem more inspiring than this woodsy scene (from the music video for “I’m Like a Bird”) is probably something by Maya Angelou. Furtado sang with emotional honesty and drawn–out metaphors, which delighted the 10 year old in me.

Five years later, she’s on MTV singing “Promiscuous Girl.” Stomach exposed, she’s dancing by herself in front of a brick wall. She was like a bird in the sense that she flew very, very far from where she started; I blame Timbaland.

She lost the gleam in her eye, dulled by the drugs her grownup friends had been taking in their scary clubs. The song topped the charts and everyone loved her, like that girl that came back after the summer and was no longer friends with you because she was suddenly cool.

To escape the reality of her present image, I have no choice but to close my eyes and just think back to her days of yearning for the power of flight. Nelly Furtado stopped making quality music and started advertising her poor judgment. And now where is she? Nowhere. Lesson learned.