Pop: There goes the girlhood

Warning: I feel compelled to rant. My concern? We don't seem to be making any progress in terms of women's representations in the pop culture sphere. In fact, I think things are getting worse. Any young girl watching Make Me a Supermodel, tuning into MTV or glimpsing the covers in a newsagent would be forgiven for thinking sexy, vacuous, skinny or angry are the ultimate aspiration.

Exhibit A: Blender magazine.

I admit, The Pussycat Dolls are an easy target. But posing in 'wife-beaters'? It's not even ironic. Below are some of the lyrics from the Dolls' new single, "When I Grow Up", which 12-year-old girls across the world are singing in classrooms right now, just as we chanted "Hit me, baby, one more time". They can also check out the Dolls, in all their busty glory, on Video Hits at 10am on a Saturday morning, right after watching the more wholesome Miley Cyrus and her daddy in Hannah Montana, who, admittedly, displays anger management issues in the film clip for her "7 Things" single, just as Pink does in "So What" – angry girls or sexy girls, I'm not sure what's worse? Take it away PCD...

"When I grow up; I wanna be famous;
I wanna be a star; I wanna be in movies
When I grow up; I wanna see the world
Drive nice cars; I wanna have groupies
When I grow up; Be on TV
People know me; Be on magazines
When I grow up; Fresh and clean
Number one chick when I step out on the scene..."

Exhibit B: Rolling Stone magazine.

Kate Perry reminds me of Zooey Deschanel. I saw her perform her single, "I Kissed A Girl", on So You Think You Can Dance. She's cute. But along with LiLo's foray into lesbianism via her 'friendship' with Sam Ronson, I do worry that curious 10-year-olds might start swapping Lip Smackers with their little friends to be cool like Kate.

The chorus from Kate Perry's pop song, "I kissed a girl"...

"I kissed a girl and I liked it;
The taste of her cherry chap stick;
I kissed a girl just to try it;
I hope my boyfriend don't mind it;
It felt so wrong; It felt so right
Don't mean I'm in love tonight
I kissed a girl and I liked it; I liked it"

Kissing pop stars, angry pop stars, power lesbians... bring back the Spice Girls, I say!

And don't even get me started on the disturbingly super-fugly Miss Piggy-inspired 'heelarious' baby heels!

Yours truly,
Girl With a Satchel

P.S. Meanwhile, the boys aren't doing any better. Kanye West has reportedly been arrested for bashing up a photographer, while Aussie polly Matt Brown lost his job over a pants-dropping scandal. Great role modelling, guys! At least I can rest assured some things are right in the world - Anna Wintour has vehemently denied she will be featuring Britney Spears in Vogue.


frangipani princess said...

I am most definately not a fan of the PCD, and cringe whenever I see them. I think it was a whole lot worse when teens and pre-teens thought the lyrics were 'When I grow up; I wanna be famous;
I wanna be a star; I wanna be in movies When I grow up; I wanna see the world Drive nice cars; I wanna have boobies' In the scheme of things, groupies makes that song a lot cleaner. Katy Perry is interesting. I like the sound of her music and her style, but I'm not sure I like her. I don't really like the lyrics of I kissed a girl, and I agree with you when you said about 10yr olds experimenting. It's just not right. And after reading about the heelarious shoes on mamamia I am extremely disturbed...

gg xx

Anonymous said...

Broadly, I agree with you. The Pussycat Dolls are woeful, in so many ways (although Don't Cha is kind of hilarious if you look at it the right way), as are a lot of the role models young girls have to draw upon. Even "good girls" like Hilary Duff and Jessica Alba seem pretty stupid beneath the girl power personas we magazine writers paste onto them.

On Katy Perry, though, I'm going to have to differ. I rolled my eyes at the lyrics when I first heard it (see this post: http://miss-r.tumblr.com/post/38955686/katy-perry-heteronormative), but more because it trivialises lesbianism than because it promotes it. I see your point about the tweens, but didn't our generation have our own song by the same name 10 years ago? Didn't make me kiss any girls. :p

Erica Bartle (nee Holburn) said...

Ah, excellent point, Rachel. The only thing I would say to that is the celebrity/pop marketing machine is so much more powerful now than it was ten years go that Ms. Perry is positively ubiquitous.