“Girl Power” | Sunday Observer

“Girl Power”

14 March, 2021

The music industry has been expanding its wings widely for most of the last century, it could be said that women have taken the industry by storm. Women are no exception to the men in the industry, using their beauty, courage and angel-like voices they work hard to proceed with the flow.

The world celebrated Women’s Day in honour of women all around the world on Monday. Being born a woman isn’t something degrading. Over the past years we have seen a great increase in music being created by women.

Below are some of the “Girl Power” songs that were famous over the 2010s:

1. “Girl On Fire” - Alisha Keys

The lead single from Alisha Keys Fifth Studio album in 2012. This song received huge worldwide popularity due to its lyrics of encouragement.

Key’s said, “…In some ways I felt like a lion locked in a cage…I felt like a girl misunderstood that no one really knew, I felt like it was time to stop making excuses for any part of my life that I wanted to change. Once I made that choice I became a “Girl On Fire”, the lion broke free”.

The lyrics “…So bright, she can burn your eyes, better look the other way…” this phrase reflects on the “Aura” of the young woman. Bright, brave and courageous. “…Filled with catastrophe, but she knows she can fly away.”

Although the world seems chaotic and dangerous for her, she strives forward to live. Naturally the chorus of the song exhibits a complete girl power vibe with the catchy words “Girl On Fire”.

2. “Man” - Taylor Swift

The song’s title shows the artist’s idea of the lyrics. Swift explains that she often wondered how she would be written and spoken about if she were a man, which influenced the song.

“I’m so sick of running as fast as I can, wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a man,” here she tries to ponder what she would have if she was a man compared with what she has now. She takes the chance to tackle career issues many women face in today’s society.

Men are allowed certain advantages compared to women because of the laws, biases and norms of society. “What I was wearing, if I was rude could all be separated from my good ideas and power moves” the line explicitly shows how women are practically judged than men in certain areas.

“Man” is the simple idea of Taylor Swift to give women a better, fair world to live in.

3. “Most Girls” - Hailee Steinfeld

Through her music, Hailee tries to bring out female empowerment as the primary theme. The anthem cherishes the existence of girls regardless of age, fashion, their choice of love etc. Generally, in English “Most Girls” is a wording used for negative approaches, like for example ‘Most girls don’t like to get dirty’, nevertheless Steinfeld employs the word as a positive outlook towards girls.

Her chorus “Most girls are smart and strong and beautiful, most girls work hard, go far, we are unstoppable” is perfect to the point. “Some girls like to keep their physique real private, some girls wear jeans so tight cause it feels so right, yeah” the verse expresses opinion about the fact how some girls cover up their bodies, maybe due to their religion. This is a straight request to stop bullying Muslim women as “terrorists”. Hailee wants all of them to have equal rights.

The music video is also at its very best, we can see stereotypes of girls showing up at different intervals, indeed making it a good message.

4. “Roar” - Katy Perry

A song with a unique perspective. Katy Perry uses animal symbolism to show the power of woman. “I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire…and you’re gonna hear me roar”, a tiger roars in order to depict the strength and power, which Katy assists to show herself as a champion to the viewers.

Before this she explains her new beginnings, the way she fell to the rock bottom but yet got up. “You held me down, but I got up, already brushing off the dust”. Here “You” may refer to men mostly. However, many favour the lines “Now I’m floating like a butterfly, stinging like a bee, I earned my stripes, I went from zero to be my own hero.” She talks about self-confidence, to do what you think is right plus how a girl experiences reawakening when she explores her limits along with her power.

5. “Juice” - Lizzo

Sung by the Black-American Rapper Lizzo, Juice is an ode on self-love. From the start to the end, the ballad radiates a positive vibe, complete with a definite hope for girls around the world. “Mirror, Mirror on the wall. Don’t say it ‘cause I know I’m cute”, this brings back the fairy tale of “Snow-White” to the background.

Lizzo, unlike the villain, questions her mirror but answers the question herself, to show her self-relying theme. It also expresses that inner beauty matters more than outer beauty. “If I’m shinin’, everybody gonna shine.” This directly refers to her music concept. “Fat” is a normal word even though it can hurt the listener much. Lizzo disregards the fact of being “Fat” utterly depicting self-love.

6. “Scars to your Beautiful” - Alessia Cara

Alessia’s song is directed with no gender but it mainly focuses on women. It is mostly about body image, a topic that widely tempts women. In the first verse Cara sings “She just wants to be beautiful, she goes unnoticed, she knows no limits. She craves attention, she praises an image…”

This deeply portrays how girls wish to have beauty as core, how obsessed they are with the criteria of “Model”, they want to be perfect like “Sculpted by the sculptor”.

Perfect doesn’t exist but they idolize to have a “Perfect Body”. This is a girl who wishes to be like a celebrity or model, to have sharp features.

Moving onto the second verse “Beauty is Pain” this mentions the lives of models, Models are fixated to dieting, not probably given what they want, they are fixed to a den. “So to all the girls that are being hurting, let me be your mirror. Help you see a little bit clearer the light that shines within…”. The song is just the singer giving a better message for the future.

7. “Salute” - Little Mix

Released in early 2014, this masterpiece recognizes women to be their own fighters. In the world we live in, men are always seen as fighters, fighting for women. But this single expresses how strong they are and their individualism. “Get your killer heels, sneakers, pumps or lace up your boots. Representing all the women, salute, salute.”

Jesy and Jade are directly referring to the individualistic ideas of women, meaning that they are free to wear what they like; killer heels, sneakers, pumps etc.

And in the end it’s “Salute”, a respect to women. “Don’t need ammunition, on a mission and we’ll hit you with the truth.” If you know the truth well, then you know why the world needs change. The change doesn’t include violence with weapons.

8. “Ain’t your Mama” - Jennifer Lopez

The song is about JeLo making noises about freedom for womanhood. She uses her voice to show gratitude for hard working women.

The pop queen emphasizes that women aren’t to be limited to the kitchen. They too must have the choice of moving through other careers. In today’s world we see woman juggling with her career and household work. “I ain’t gon’be cooking all day, I ain’t your mama” cooking is fun, however, it doesn’t mean to be around one gender. Sometimes men would be better chefs than women.

9. “Rare” - Selena Gomez

An ideal song for a girl in her tender youth, talks a lot about self-love, self-empowerment as the main themes. It shows a brand new shadow, lights on how “Rare” an individual might be. Selena Gomez wants the listener to be herself, unique and different. “Baby, You’ve been so distant from me lately and lately, Don’t even wanna call you ‘Baby’.”

This may refer mostly as many think to a relationship, where one is making the conversation whereas the other ignoring the conversation. But in my opinion it’s about Selena talking to herself, questioning herself the change she’s going through, even though she didn’t request it.

“Why don’t you recognize I’m so rare?” The duality of the word “rare” is highlighted, It’s like Old Self Vs New Self in the song. I would prescribe this for a broken girl. An ambitious and encouraging song by Selena.

10. “Kill This Love” - BlackPink

Aimed on toxic relationships, The K-Pop queens shot off with the line “After a sweet ‘Hi’, there’s always a bitter ‘Bye’” showing the fact how it started and how it’s ending drastically. Jennie repeats the catchy line “I’m a slave to my emotions” - how girls suffer due to a broken heart, later cursing “Screw this heartless love”.

The four K-Pop queens shading lovers who left the other through the line “So Sorry, I’m Not Sorry”. Jennie, Jisoo, Lisa and Rose are requesting to put up an end to the relationship “I need to bring an end to this love.”

“Let’s Kill this love!” refers to the song’s co-writer Bekuh Boom’s experience of leaving her artistic work to be a good mother and wife. How she suffered to do so. The real struggle of women. BlackPink have mastered the song to shade Toxic Relations.

To all women in society, be happy and enjoy, cause it’s your life not anyone else’s.