In honor of Women’s History Month, I thought it would be a great idea to share some of my favorite songs made to empower women. These songs talk about real issues that women struggle with on a daily basis, and listening to these can help you feel valued and seen. Being a young woman today, it is so important to have representative and encouraging media.
- I’m every woman by chaka khan/whitney houston
No matter which version of I’m Every Woman you listen to, this song is one of my favorites for female empowerment. This song was Chaka Khan’s first release as a solo artist after leaving the band Rufus. This song talks about a woman’s natural instinct and how women can do anything, while doing it naturally! Whether you’re listening to Chaka’s original recording or Whitney Houston’s cover, you need to put this on your girl power playlist, stat.
- independent women part 1 by destiny’s child
This song is so fun to listen to. Not only is it easy to dance to, but it spotlights that women don’t have to depend on others to get what we want. This is such a girl power anthem and a great song to celebrate yourself.
- hat 2 da back by tlc
This song was one of TLC’s first singles. TLC is known for being a girl group that broke the standards of a “standard” girl group. TLC was known to wear baggy clothes and have more of a street style. They proved that you don’t have to dress or look a certain way to make it big in the music industry. They made women all around the world confident and proud to not feel the pressure to appeal to the male gaze. This song inspires me to dress how I want because I like it, not because of anyone else.
- u.n.i.t.y. by queen latifah
Back in the day, Queen Latifah was known for changing the standards for female hip-hip artists. In this song, Latifah talks about catcallers, domestic abusers, and misogyny in hip-hop culture. She also talks about how in many hip-hop songs women are referred to as a b**** or a h**. She says that women should stand up for themselves and not allow this slander. This song is one of the tracks she is most known for, and it is still very relevant today.
- video by india.arie
This song is probably my favorite on this list. India.Arie is known for her R&B, folk, rock, and gospel songs, but this song is all about self acceptance. She talks about not looking like the usual popular girl in music videos or like a supermodel, and that that’s okay. This self-empowerment song talks about how self love is so important in times where comparison is so common. She finds her worth in things that aren’t materialistic.
- unpretty by tlc
This song is another example of self-love. This song talks about the pressure that society puts on young women to stay thin, youthful, and beautiful forever. TLC talks about the unrealistic beauty standards by setting a situation of a woman trying to be freed from trying too hard to please her boyfriend, because he makes her feel “unpretty.” I enjoy their music so much, because they talk about real hardships that women face. This song was released in 1999, but it is still so relevant today.
- baby girl by chloe x halle
I wanted to choose a song that was released more recently for this list, and this song has such a powerful message. Baby Girl was written by Chloe and Halle, and it was dedicated to black women all around the world. They did a tribute to the many black women who died by the awful police violence that terrorizes our world, including tributes to Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Kayla Moore, Ashanti Carmon, and Deborah Danner. As a black woman, this song means so much to me. Having a song to listen to that makes me feel so seen and wanted is amazing. In today’s society, black women are so undervalued and under appreciated, and listening to this song makes me feel so loved.
All of these songs mean so much to me. I can remember my mom listening to the older songs on this list, and I know that she feels the same way that I feel when listening to them: loved and empowered. I hope everyone who listens to these songs feels the same.