So here at the Shameless Blog we’ve started talking about the proliferation of the “poptarts.” You know who I’m talking about: the bad girl “pantyless celebrities,” the train wreck girls arrested for DUIs and even the “modest” ladies of Hollywood talking (a lot of bs) about how they’re not “angry feminists.” It seems we’re bombarded daily with news that LiLo’s been arrested (again) or Britney peed with the door open at a photo shoot. Why all this madness and why do we all care so much? It’s a shift in our culture and the media is desperately looking for a reason why the bad boys of Hollywood are suddenly all girls:The trend has sociologists and fame-watchers alike wondering what is going on. One possible explanation is that the rise of the Bad Girls is simply a reflection of the generally increasing power and visibility of women in all fields of entertainment…
At the same time there is a wider social acceptance of bad behaviour by young American girls. America is caught in the age of Girls Gone Wild videos which would have been unthinkable a few decades ago.
-Paul Harris, The Observer
Sure there are some fantastic musicians and actors of the female persuation who deliver great messages (like Beth Ditto of Gossip fame,) but they always seem to fly just slightly under the radar in the realm of popularity. It really seems that everywhere you look in the mainstream some young woman is falling apart infront of a telephoto lens. So my question is: Where’s a girl to go for her empowered mainstream girl idols?
Well, to the idol herself. I submit to you exhibit A:
“I’ve sold more than 15 million records worldwide, and still nobody listens to what I have to say. Because I’m 25 and a woman…”
-Kelly Clarkson, Elle Magazine
I used to very quietly say that Kelly Clarkson was my guilty pleasure but now I’m just going to out myself, scream it from the rooftops and tell you all that I think she’s the best kind of breath of fresh air. Oh yah, and I’m in love with her. With the launch of her most recent album she faced the worst kind of sexist criticism (crap) from record execs who wanted to toss the songs she wrote herself. What did she do? She talked about it. A lot:
“Everybody doesn’t like me writing all the time, no matter how many No. 1’s you write. It’s clearly like yelling at a brick wall….It’s because I’m a woman — because I’m a young woman.”
“I am a good singer, so I can’t possible be a good writer. Women can’t possibly be good at two things. I haven’t lost my temper about it. It only drives me more. If your thing is to bring me down, cool. I’ll just work harder.”
She also talks about a lot of other cool things. Like marriage: “I’m not keen on marriage. I don’t let many people in. Men come and go. Friends are what I care about.” And being called fat: “You’re just like, Oh, well, that sucks. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t suck that much or else I’d do something about it. I work out when I want to work out; I don’t work out when I don’t want to work out. After a long day and I’m tired, yeah, a cookie helps. It makes me feel good.” By the way, the new album that has been so contraversial and criticized? It’s amazing and mostly because it’s all her.
But wait! Kelly’s not alone in her injection of a little mainstream feminism. I submit exhibit B:
“There are too many stupid girls in the media. Hermione’s not scared to be clever. I think sometimes really smart girls dumb themselves down a bit, and that’s bad. I’m a bit of a feminist. I’m very competitive and challenging. When I was 9 or 10, I would get really upset when they tried to make me look geeky, but now I absolutely love it. I find it’s so much pressure to be beautiful. Hermione doesn’t care what she looks like.”
-Emma Watson on Hermione Granger or Harry Potter fame.
I think sometimes “angry feminists” like me forget that there are ladies in the mainstream pop and film world that are really fantastic role models for their young fans. After all these DUI charges and peeing with the door open scandals, I thought we could all use some reminding…
Can anybody else remind us of some strong women in mainstream media?