An Unspoken “Inferior” Population

Let’s imagine you’re in a coffee shop and you’re looking for music recommendations.

Amiable chatter surrounds you, the cappuccino is hot in your palms, you want some random sampling. To your left, a man in his thirties is seated at a table, intently typing away at something important on his laptop. To your right, a couple of high school girls sit on stools, animatedly talking about something.

Who do you turn to for recommendations?

I have a hunch. You picked the man. (Unless, perhaps, you’re a teenage girl yourself.)

Upon first glance, nothing seems to be an issue. But if you start thinking more intently, I would imagine your choice correlated with a few prejudices and judgments. Start thinking more, and be honest.

Why didn’t you pick the teenage girls?

Maybe your age is closer to that of the man’s. Maybe you figured the man would know more music. Maybe you figured you’d be able to strike up a more meaningful conversation concerning music tastes with the man. Regardless, there’s one large assumption in place–that for whatever reason, the teenage girls’ opinions aren’t as legitimate or serious.

And this is not just the case with music! We feel this way about all topics, in regards to teenage girls, whether entertainment, political, or social topics.

I think there’s a problem with that. If we push aside their opinions or are quick to label their opinions inferior, we are damaging not only their self-worth, but their sense of worth in the future. Our future women.

Why can’t they have a legitimate say? Why does everything avidly enjoyed by teenage girls have to be looked down upon by the older population? What’s wrong with enjoying something that teenage girls like? There’s often this idea that people who enjoy musicians or books or movies that teenage girls like need to feel a sense of shame or embarrassment. Their interests are inferioryou state, implicitly.

Now, I understand labeling opinions invalid if teenage girls try to provide thoughts on topics they are not familiar with, as with any human. But rarely, if ever, is that the case. Teenage girls are passionate, and passionate about topics they are well-acquainted with. Therefore, there is no reason to consider their opinions invalid.

If we are going to continue promoting to young girls that they are capable of anything, we should treat their opinions with the genuine respect and acknowledgement that they deserve, same as anyone else. Otherwise, we inflate their sense of insecurity and hypocrisy rears its ugly head.

“Who’s to say that young girls who like pop music – short for popular, right? – have worse musical taste than a 30-year-old hipster guy? That’s not up to you to say. Music is something that’s always changing. There’s no goal posts. Young girls like the Beatles. You gonna tell me they’re not serious? How can you say young girls don’t get it? They’re our future. Our future doctors, lawyers, mothers, presidents, they kind of keep the world going. Teenage-girl fans – they don’t lie. If they like you, they’re there. They don’t act ‘too cool.’ They like you, and they tell you. Which is sick.” -Harry Styles




Female Objectification by… Females?

You’ve heard it all before: how many male musicians, especially prevalent in rap or hip-hop genres, are well-known for objectifying women. Obviously treating women in this fashion is not okay.

However, I’m more disturbed by the fact that women are so against this, yet many famous female singers and bands do the exact same things to themselves. While I believe they generally have good intentions, some female musicians who claim to be empowering women and showing their gender’s capabilities occasionally do the exact opposite.

It’s one thing to sing a love song to someone you care about, but it’s quite another to sing an overtly sensual song, where the body is flaunted and seeks to be controlled by a man. Music videos can sometimes be a problem on their own, where women intentionally or unintentionally glorify their bodies for anyone and everyone who watch the video. Yes, it’s great to be comfortable and confident in your own skin, and we as women should continually work on helping each other love our own bodies. However, I don’t think showing your nearly naked body off to thousands or millions of people on the Internet is the best way to exemplify this self-love. Women are worth more than their bodies but these videos are putting everyone’s focus on their bodies! Even if your intentions are to portray confidence in your body, there is no way people are going to see that and not be reminded of something sexual. Nakedness will always have a sexual connotation.

I am not looking down on any certain musicians; I still enjoy some of their music and think they’re talented. That being said, I will not be including names and songs of those that sang these lyrics, because that is not what matters within this topic. What matters is that female objectification is an issue that is so incredibly commonplace in music we have turned numb to it. We inhale these videos and exhale these lyrics daily. Is no one else concerned by that? Do these lyrics and trends bother anyone else? I know these ladies are not trying to objectify themselves, but nevertheless, they are.

Here are lyrics from randomly chosen songs females sing that have this sensual quality:

“Bang bang, all over you, I’ll let you have it.”

“Gonna wear that dress you like, skin-tight… I just want to look good for you.”

“Since the last time we danced I’ve learned some brand new moves… I want to try them on you.”

“You can touch me with slow hands…”

I used to not mind these kinds of songs, honestly, because they were catchy and fun to dance to. But strip away the beat and it’s quite sickening to digest these lyrics, personally. Is this how we want to represent ourselves? When people think of women in music, are these the songs we want them to think of? Is this the extent of our lyrical depth and human experience? By writing and singing songs like this, female musicians are perpetuating this theme that we are first and foremost sexual beings. We tell men not to sexually objectify ourselves and then turn around and sing about the same thing. Just because the female is the one talking about sex and is consenting to it doesn’t mean the overall message cannot objectify her body.

I don’t know about you, but I am worth far more than sex or a romantic relationship. My life is filled with much more complexity and purpose than seeking marriage or intimate love from another human being. Sex is a gift given to us, a regular part of life and we are naturally attracted to it, but women are not living on this planet for that sole purpose. However, that is what these songs convey, especially when some of these artists write almost entire albums with similar themes.

If you want to truly empower your fellow females worldwide when you have such a vast audience, female musicians, work on emphasizing that they can do anything. But not that they can get or forget any romantic partner they want, no. Don’t even mention those things. To truly empower women we need to convey that our worth and identity are not even dependent upon romance and relationships.


The Women of Music

When I think of my role models, I’m struck by a realization. 99% of my role models are men.

I’m talking people who are in the spotlight (in this case just music). People who aren’t your family or friends. My greatest inspirations that are known by an abnormal amount of people (maybe “famous” you’d say) are Jon Foreman, Tyler Joseph, and Matt Thiessen. They create music, and more importantly, string together words that have power. Words that hold weight. They make people think.

When I think of popular female musicians, my mind lands on Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, etc… I think about what they sing in their songs and it’s all similar. I think about what they wear and it’s all similar.

When I think of female solo musicians, what is conveyed to me through the media and their music and their clothing is a weird standard. There’s a standard that they need to be sensual, and whether they mean to or not their bodies are constantly being emphasized. Some of them for the purpose of confidence, yet the way they go about it rubs me the wrong way.

I’m disappointed that this is everyone’s general view of female musicians. That to be in the spotlight for longer than a couple weeks you have to look and dress a certain way. There’s no variety. There’s no lyrically profound songs. It’s all either about love, revenge, or sadness.

I’ve heard enough about relationships and heartbreak. What I’m hearing is that all these women have learned in their lives is how to have a boyfriend? How to look cool and confident in front of other people? I know for a fact they know so much more. I want to hear something unique, something that will catch people off guard!

If you have the opportunity for thousands of people to hear you, don’t you want to make them think? Tell them what you know to be true? Music is a creative outlet, something where voices can be expressed. Everyone has a unique voice, yet I’m not hearing much variety.

I don’t hate any of these ladies. I know they work very hard at what they do and they have a passion for it. I just wish they would break out of this weird mold that has surrounded female musicians. All I see right now is a box. I know they’re capable of going beyond what they’ve been doing and I just wish someone would step up and write something that will stop everyone in their tracks. Say what everyone else has been afraid to say.


Genesis 1:31

I’m surrounded by broken women. The world is filled to the brim with broken women. Not a single woman is safe from the daily disease of appearance. Women who don’t think they’re good enough exactly as they are made. Women who are constantly trying to change themselves or are envious of other girls because of x, y, and z.
But here’s the thing: you don’t need x, y, or z. In fact, you’re better off without those things, whatever just popped into your mind. Let me share a little about my struggle and how I personally discovered this.

As a petite woman, I often feel alone and singled out. I know there are plenty of others out there like me, but I’m hardly surrounded by any. Because of this, I feel out of place. Strangers make jokes about how young I look and I never feel like I have anyone to talk to, because it seems like no one understands the struggle of being so tiny. In fact, I’ve even had someone ask me if I was anorexic. I’ve noticed our society is not the most conscientious of petite women through clothing and social interactions.

This is not okay. While I understand why people say or act the way they do around me, here’s a couple things I want everyone to know about me as a petite woman:

-I beat myself up more than anyone else and that’s why it makes harmless or playful comments stand out. Oftentimes they’re thoughts that reflect my own thoughts towards myself and that’s really why they hurt me. However, I am working on building up my self-confidence.

-I should not have to justify my size in any type of environment (especially professionally) to be taken seriously.

Many times I’ve found myself thinking I should put more makeup on or wear taller shoes or dress a certain way. While none of those things are bad, the issue is I would find myself thinking these things because I felt like it was necessary to look older or be more mature. But what the heck does that even mean for a full-grown woman? Frankly, we probably just mean we want to look like that other woman. Even if you’re not petite like me, women are constantly trying to change themselves to fit a certain mold of what they consider ‘ideal’ or ‘successful.’ If we just do x, y, and z we feel we can be content with our body. Until then, we despise ourselves.

So this summer I decided I need a change in attitude. I want to fully respect my body for what it is, not what my flesh wants to be. I’m going to try to eat healthier, exercise more, and have proper self-care in every aspect of my physical being.

Okay, easier said than done. Anyone can say they want to truly love themselves starting now, but most people don’t come through. Why am I so set on this?

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” ~1 Corinthians 6:19-20

I have one body. I will never have another one. This body is made to contain the Holy Spirit. This body is bigger than myself and my comparison or envy or discontentment. If I am to truly glorify God in my body, I need to love it wholeheartedly, with no strings attached. I know I’ll fail and I can’t perfect everything, but I want my body to have the love it deserves for its one lifetime.

Ladies, God made us just how he wants us and none of it is a mistake. I know it’s hard to believe and I know we will have our doubts, but remember: even our body is not about us. If we are to truly exemplify God’s love and our faith to others, we need to look at our authentic, non-accessorized selves and say “it is good.” We need to truly believe that.