Girl Power: Then and Now

May 8, 2007

 The Spice Girls:                                                    

The Pussycat Dolls:

In one of my last girl power classes, the discussion focused on the meaning of girl power and what the term meant during the period of The Spice Girls verses what it means now with artists like Beyonce, Christina, and The Pussycat Dolls.  Girl power in the nineties was about strong girls who could be just as good as boys, who had fun, and who were also sexy.  But sexiness then was never like the sexiness of now.  Girl power today is almost branded by “Sexy.”  And being sexy today is much more explicit: clothes are definitely revealing a lot more than bellies, and women have become very outspoken with their sexuality.

The Spice Girls defined girl power as solidarity with other women—that no matter what, your friends came before boys.  Now, one of the most famous all female groups is The Pussycat Dolls.  In all their performances they are overtly sexy with their songs being about sexual pleasure and their relationships to men, etc…  Their message to women is to take over their sexuality and to be open with their sexuality.  This is the same kind of message Christina Aguilera is telling the world.

Individual female artists like Christina and Beyonce are telling women to be independent.  No, they may not be stressing female solidarity, but they are giving sexual power to women.  Sex isn’t only for men.  Christina is honest about her sexuality and her pleasure in being sexual.  As mentioned in my girl power class, what is out now is the idea of female enjoyment.  I only think this becomes a problem when girls or women start believing that sexuality is the only way to have power.


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