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Taeyeon’s Female Empowerment in Pre-Release #GirlsSpkOut

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

Queen Taeyeon is back with a pre-release song from her upcoming Japanese album #GirlsSpkOut, set to come out on November 18. If you are unfamiliar with Taeyeon, she is a member of the Korean girl group Girl Generation. Besides being part of the Nations Girlgroup, Taeyeon has a solo career, releasing music both in Korean and Japanese. In this specific piece, Taeyeon emphasizes women having the ability to express themselves and be free, especially in today’s society. Some lyrics that stood out to me and emphasized female empowerment include: 

“Questioning on my way  

Ah ah my future is in my pocket  

I sparkle on my own in my own lane  

Ah it hurt, when I got scratched  

Thank you for making me a diamond.”  

Taeyeon mentions how there has been a scratch that hurt (perhaps making a reference to female harassment), but that scratch made her into a diamond. Diamonds are one of the gemstones that are almost entirely scratch-proof because of their hardness. Using a diamond to represent herself (and women) demonstrates how she has gotten stronger. Taeyeon then sings the following lines:  

“Hey girls let’s speak out  

Hands up and stand up  

The world is in our hands like we want it to be  

Hey girls brave it out  

Wake up and look up.”  

This chorus is catchy and makes Taeyeon’s listeners feel powerful, motivating girls to sing out loud. The lyrics clearly emphasize women coming together and standing up for what we believe in without being frightened by others. As females, we need to be brave and look up because this is our time, and the world is in our hands. “#GirlsSpkOut” is a girls anthem that every woman can feel empowered by. The song features Japanese female rapper, CHANMINA. This gives the piece a  new level  of empowerment through her energetic rapping style. It’s no surprise Taeyeon invited CHANMINA to work with her on this track because CHANMINA has become one of the most prominent women in Japanese hip-hop and one of the few female rappers to go mainstream.  

camcorder on blue background
Photo by Thomas William on Unsplash

In the music video for “#GirlSpkOut,” Taeyeon gives an extreme visual presentation of what should happen to men when they overstep their boundaries. This whole video focuses on Taeyeon seeking revenge on manipulative men, representing the feelings of a woman wishing karma on her perpetrator. 

After watching the video, I was left with a sense of empowerment and acknowledgment that I  should never let others control me because I am free to express myself and speak out. In comments on the video, many girls state that this song has inspired them to speak out when their personal space is not being respected. Lastly, even though the song is in Japanese, the message is for all girls worldwide. No matter you age or in which part of the world you live, we all become stronger when #GirlsSpkOut.

Wanda Melendez

UC Berkeley '22

Hello! I am Wanda and my major is media studies and my minor in journalism. I am interested in working in the entertainment industry (music, fashion, film, or television). I enjoy traveling and going to Kpop concerts with my friends in my free time. As well, I like making youtube videos that consist of vlogs, Kpop, and fashion.
Samhita Sen

UC Berkeley '21

Samhita (she/her pronouns) graduated in December 2021 from UC Berkeley with a double major in Communication/Media Studies and Sociology. At any given moment, she may be frantically writing an essay, carelessly procrastinating by watching Claire Saffitz on YouTube or spending time with people she loves.