The first day certainly had interesting content. What caught my attention was Louisa Peacock's article Girl power is dead, girlfriend. Read all about it... about women pop singer's song content. With a month to go until the Spice Girl's Viva Forever musical, Peacock wondered: “isn't girl power in music long gone?”
For instance, Peacock mentions Destiny's Child and their song (which was released in 2000, not 1998 as stated in the article– I know this because in 1998 I a crop, by late 2000 I was styling Charlie's Angels inspired flicks before school every morning) (also Wikipedia confirms) Independent Women. Without The Spice Girls promotion of friendship and independence would such a song have been written? Or rather; would such a song have been such a hit? Girl Power prepped us for these lyrics: “Question, tell me what you think about me?/I buy my own diamonds and I buy my own rings” Sure the lyrics demonstrate a move towards the more materialistic attitude of the 2000s, a far cry from 1996 when we were happy to see the Spice Girls sing about girlie friendship in Wannabe on Top of the Pops for 7 weeks in a row in the same outfits. Every single time. Anything to get Babylon Zoo's Spaceman out of our heads I suppose.
WHATEVER, Peacock states: “Which artist in their right mind would release a song like this [Independent Women] now, without every girl and boy in the house going, err, yeah, duh...It is now so obvious that women are independent that there is no need to make a song about it.”
Would they? Are all young women (or young men for that matter) financially independent now? Because I think around 1 in 6 young people missed that memo. Even if the insinuation is instead meant to be that young women aspire to independence then how come school girls are still informing us that their main ambition is to be a WAG? Surely the response to Independent Women would be a Lil Kim-esque: “We independent women, some mistake us for whores / I'm sayin‘, why spend mine when I can spend yours”. We are living in a material world and these are material girls.
Citing number 8 on the last year's Fresh FM Female Empowering Songs list Peacock describes No Doubt's Just a Girl as a song: “about a woman fed up with being treated differently because she's a girl... good points - but aren't they outdated? Don't independent women - and men - know this by now?” Well, either that is why there are no plans to re-release Just a Girl any time soon or the song is on this list because it continues to be relevant but we got bored of women being so darn complainy. Check out my new song I'm not a feminist but... instead.
Backing Peacock up is the talent spotter who brought us Coldplay, Miles Leonard: “The term girl power is dead.” Before you resign yourself to One Direction Leonard continues, “The notion of women being empowered is not dead, maybe it's become more reflective.” A more thoughtful version of girl power is hardly a sign of audiences not wanting to hear about a life of self-reliance.
We know by now, surely, the music industry does not give us what we need, it gives us what it can sell. You don't have to be a hard-nosed cynic to understand that, anything else and pop would be unquestionably Art.
"No more, no more, no more / And for all the ladies out there I wish / We could write more than the next marketing bid / Culture is what we make it yes it is / Now is the time, now is the time / Now is the time to invent, invent, invent Invent, invent, invent."