When it comes to inspiration and impact on popular culture, the music industry is one of the most powerful and influential industries. Iconic musical artists have an incredibly powerful voice because their work has the potential to be heard across the globe. The message that a song portrays matters and it’s imperative that artists are conscientious of the words and ideas they express to adolescents. Peppy beats and melodies have a tendency to mask the rather explicit messages that some artists embody–and so they get away with it. “Blurred Lines?” “Talk Dirty?” These songs perpetuate the sexualization of the female body, and make it acceptable to objectify women.
However, there are artists that take it upon themselves to inspore women and perform music that fights for female empowerment. They fight against this male dominated society and prove that we, as women, have a voice that can be heard just as loud. Here are some specific songs that have spoken to me:
1. “Sit Still, Look Pretty” by Daya
This song exemplifies that a woman’s life is not one dimensional or stereotypical. We are not here to cater to the man. We are our own people that are capable of succeeding without the presence of a man.
2. “Salute” by Little Mix
This is another song that demonstrates the strength that women possess. It inspires the idea of fighting against a patriarchy that, for centuries, has told us we are unworthy.
3. “Scars to Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara
This song is an amazing anthem for body positivity and stressing self-worth. It comments on society’s expectations on women’s physicality and how we should ignore this. You are beautiful within your skin and the skin you wear is beautiful regardless of what society tells you to believe.
4. “Confident” by Demi Lovato
What I love about this song is that it demonstrates the strength and attractiveness of confidence. Women struggle to believe in their self-worth because of countless aspects of society that tell us we should hate our imperfections. Being confident in yourself to achieve anything–from your highest dreams to demanding the type of behavior you deserve–is something we should be encouraged to have. You are worthy of the life you want and you should be confident in going out there and pursuing what you want.
5. “BO$$” by Fifth Harmony
Full set of lyrics here
I’m not a huge fan of Fifth Harmony (as a lot of my friends know), but I do appreciate that this song portrays a message of women’s confidence and independence. There is an expectation in society of the man being the “bread winner” of the house. This expectation isn’t as intense as it used to be, but it’s definitely still present in some households. Women, demand respect for the achievements you have worked so hard to obtain. Again, you don’t need a man to be successful.
6. “Run the World (Girls)” by Beyoncé
Then comes Queen B with a fierce song that represents women’s overall power and capabilities to succeed. Get at us, patriarchy.
7. “So What” by P!nk
Sometimes, society belittles women and makes them believe that relationships and marriage are the most important achievements in our lives. Hence, I thought it ironically necessary to include this song in my list. We don’t need a guy to be happy. Thank you, bye.
8. “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera
This song is so beautifully important for women who struggle with loving themselves physically or internally. Society makes sure that women find some sort of insecurity in themselves and this song is an anthem in fighting for loving yourself. Brush those unrealistic standards aside, because you’re more beautiful than them anyway.
9. “Superwoman” by Alicia Keys
This song helps us understand that we are strong and we can overcome anything.
10. “Flawless” by Beyoncé
I had to save the best for last. This song (and the monologue) honestly speaks for itself. Bow down to the Queen, ladies and gents.
Music is one of the only industries that lets an artist’s voice be heard on a global scale. Artists in the spotlight have a responsibility to be conscientious of the messages their music instills. I could rant on and on about how messed up the patriarchy and our social system is through a plethora of layers, but I don’t want to bore you. Music and being a woman are two important factors of who I am and it’s important that I know to be proud of that.