Monday, February 23, 2015

Wait... So This Is Modern "Women-Empowerment"?

Want sleek straight hair like Beyonce? We're giving away a #Friction Free travel dryer & flat iron. RT & follow @CricketTools to enter to #win!

I always default to Beyonce when it comes to all things feminism and woman empowerment so her photo has been slapped up at the top of this post, but this article isn't about Queen Bey nor is it targeted at her in the slightest. Well, maybe... Just kiddiinnnngg.

But I will say that though this article has been on my blog schedule for months I finally got motivated to write this post after reading a few excerpts from Meghan Trainers new Seventeen Magazine cover issue interview. I don't have the article in front of me so I'll loosely recap the piece I read:

Seventeen Editor - "So your song 'All About That Bass' is, like, super popular. What inspired you??"
Meghan - "Well in the [entertainment] industry girls are always pressured to be a size two and I sooo don't fit into that. Oh yeah, and I was bullied in school."
Seventeen Editor - "So you're basically an icon for great self-esteem and self worth. How does that feel knowing you've inspired so many young girls??"
Meghan - "Well, yeah it feels great!..."

And then I stopped reading right about there because WHHAAT?!? Female artists have been common picking grounds for "leaders in women empowerment and self confidence." By whom, I'm not entirely sure, but I've seen magazine article after magazine article and interview after interview anointing any woman who sings, writes, or briefly mentions anything remotely "empowering" to women. Is it just me or are we selectively hearing what these "empowering" women are singing?? Or what they wear? Or how they act? Maybe it's just me, but I don't consider the "I'm sexy and I know it so let me show it" attitude empowering to women. Making your body the consistent object of attention is not a screw you to men; it's a "don't objectify me, I can do it alllll by myself" to men. Women are sexual beings. Women do not have to be defined by their size nor how men feel about their individual sizes. Women do not have to feel bad about being women. Women do not have to feel bad about who they are. But most importantly, they shouldn't have to.

So riddle me this: why then, is curvy the new in 'thing'? Or why Meghan Trainer is being praised for a song that boasts "Yeah, my momma she told me don't worry about your size/She says, boys they like a little more booty to hold at night/You know I won't be no stick-figure, silicone Barbie doll"  not once but twice in its lyrics as if female empowerment is done by making fun of thin women and praising curviness primarily for its male approval rate? For all I know, these artistic women of empowerment may be the movers and shakers of modern female self confidence, but if so it's being done under the radar because what's been brought to the forefront is more backhanded than anything else.

But if nothing else, it makes for great dance party music...