woman

Is Katy Perry’s “ROAR” The Current Generation’s “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar”?

 

When I finally heard the latest hit from Katy Perry, I couldn’t help but think, “Could this be the current generation’s newest feminist anthem?”

 

Now I know what you’re thinking: but it’s Katy Perry.

To this I have two points to make:

1) Listen to the lyrics. It’s fucking inspirational and feminist subversion at it’s best. I say “at it’s best” precisely because it is a pop song — it will be heard by millions upon millions everywhere. And it encourages girls and women to be strong, confident, unafraid to speak their own minds, and perhaps most importantly, “be our own heroes.”

2) If Katy Perry were to declare herself a feminist I’d be like, “fuck yeah” because let’s face it: it would be a boon for feminism. It’s a label still riddled with negative connotations, so if she were willing to accept that label and wear it proudly like a prom queen sash, well that, ladies & gentleman, is why “I’d be like, ‘fuck yeah’.”

For those of you daring enough to watch the above video, it is super silly over the top ridonkulousness. Enjoy.

*side note: I find it interesting that as her “independence & strength” grow in the video, the less clothing she seems to be wearing. It’s almost like a women’s lib throwback, as if to say, fuck female modesty!*

Lyrics:

I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything

You held me down, but I got up (hey!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, your hear that sound
Like thunder, gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up
Get ready ’cause I had enough
I see it all, I see it now

I got the eye of the tiger, the fire
Dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar!

Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar!

Now I’m floating like a butterfly
Stinging like a bee I earned my stripes
I went from zero, to my own hero

You held me down, but I got up (hey!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, your hear that sound
Like thunder, gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up
Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

I got the eye of the tiger, the fire
Dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar!

Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar!

Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar!

Roar, roar, roar, roar, roar!

I got the eye of the tiger, the fire
Dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar!

Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar!

Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar!

 

Lyrics via metrolyrics.com

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Dove’s “Real Beauty Campaign”

Last week a certain Dove ad gained wide popularity throughout the media.

Many of my own friends posted about it on Facebook, citing how it brought them to tears.

Feministing.com had this to say about Dove’s latest addition to the “Real Beauty Campaign.”

Naturally, with a few fellow feminist friends talking about it, saying how moving or significant it is, I had to see what all the fuss was about.

I felt…nothing. It was lackluster, contrived, and a bit patronizing, in my opinion.

This is what I had to say on the MFB Facebook page (taken from a thread in which I shared the feministing.com article)

“glad you each read, and appreciated, this article. i watched that video and just thought, “seriously…?” You know what, So what if one of them actually did look like the first sketch more? OH DEAR GOD NO, NOT THAT! There is still, at the center of this ad, underpinning it all, this abstract ideal of beauty… And I do feel that a demonstration of confidence would have been more powerful than a showcase of insecurity. We need more examples of strong, confident women of all shapes and sizes and colors in the media. But what am I saying… Consumerism is consumerism. Looking for meaning in the consumer marketplace is like looking for love in the red light district.

of course, “looking for love in the red light district” works… if you’re “Pretty Woman”….”

The bottom line, for me, is that this ad still rests on a social standard of superficial physical beauty, and, to quote the feministing article, “This version of the message–that you’re thinner than you think you are–reinforces the assumption that thinness is valuable. The take-away might be immediately gratifying. But by accepting the worship of slenderness within a supposed challenge to mainstream standards, the video entrenches fat-shaming further.”

Furthermore, as previously mentioned, I find it a bit patronizing in its almost exploitative demonstration of female insecurity. Yes, lots of women are insecure. So are lots of men. I’m not inspired by this and I feel a slight discomfort that so many women were. I suppose its in the relatable aspect of it, but still, are we not all already aware of the universal human frailty that is insecurity? Once again, I find demonstrations of strength, confidence, and self-actualization much more inspirational. I find inspiration in Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Judith Butler, Cherie Moraga, and James Baldwin, who taught me that I must accept the inherent value that is placed upon me as a human being.

As a matter of fact, I think this is a way more “feminist,” awesome, and inspiring ad, so there. Enjoy.