"I only want to die alive
Never by the hands of a broken heart
I don't wanna hear you lie tonight
Now that I've become who I really am."
This upbeat breakup jam is one of Ari's best known songs but is still a big favorite for me. Just look at those lyrics. Here she manifests that now that she has a strong sense of self, she won't put up with this guy's lies anymore. We've all been there before. Am I right ladies? Ariana Grande has been active in the feminist movement in speaking out against misogyny, body shaming, and prejudice. She attended the Million Women's March last January with her mother and her grandmother.
I had the honor of working on this music video and there's no song I'd rather hear for hours over and over again. Work is about women breaking expectations and being the breadwinners. The ladies of Blush are known to be allies to the LGBTQ+ community and have made it their mission to empower women. Check out the music video here.
"I'm walking down the street with my hands tied
Cause I wore a skirt, you think I'm down to ride
You think I wanna f**k cause I comb my hair
Cause I'm at the bar next to an open chair
Cause I always have to be polite
Cause I look you in the eye
Cause I grin back, green light
Go ahead, give it a try"
In "B*tch Sl*t," Anna Wise criticises cat callers and that creepy guy at the bar for making assumptions on what a woman wants based on what she is wearing. Anna challenges the double standard so many women fall victim to. Say no? You're a prude. Say yes? You're easy.Good on her for calling out the catch 22 society tries to trap us in.
"This is for them 20 somethings
Time really moves fast, you were just sixteen
This is for them 30 somethings
That didn't turn out exactly how your mom and dad wanted you to be
This is for them 40 somethings
Well raise up your glass and laugh like a muthaf#*%er
This is for them 50 somethings
Hell, you're halfway there, baby take it to the head"
I was new to the Beyonce obsession but alas here I am thinking any song of hers deserves to be on this list. While true, I chose Schoolin' Life because of how inclusive it is to all age groups. The song is about feeling yourself now matter how old you are and celebrating individuality. I can get behind that!
"Put me on a pedestal and I'll only disappoint you
Tell me I'm exceptional, I promise to exploit you
Give me all your money, and I'll make some origami, honey
I think you're a joke, but I don't find you very funny."
If for no other reason, I love how angsty this song is. Quick and talky, this song sometimes reminds me of my own inner monologue.
"What's wrong with being, what's wrong with being
What's wrong with being confident?
What's wrong with being, what's wrong with being
What's wrong with being confident?"
This one basically speaks for itself. It asks listens "what's wrong with being confident?" which I feel is a more important question than what we give the pop hook credit for. So often are women looked at as arrogant if they are confident in themselves. We are taught that being silent and being humble are the same things. Demi challenges that very notion here. Demi has had health issues over the years and has publicly spoken to advocate for positive body images which makes her a feminist hero in my eyes. Not everyone is perfect and when you use your learning experiences to teach others in need, that's worthy of applause.
Take a crazy chance
Do a crazy dance
If you lose the moment
You may lose a lot
So why not
I just had to put this one on here. This song is perhaps on of the first songs that empowered me. In Why Not, Hilary Duff encourages listeners to "take a crazy chance" because "why not." Listen to this one when you're about to embark on a new part of your life or take a major risk. Warning: cathartic dance party may ensue.
"I was young
And in love
I gave you everything
But it wasn't enough
And now you wanna communicate (You know it's just too little too late)
Go find someone else
In letting you go
I'm loving myself
You got a problem
But don't come asking me for help
'Cause you know…"
Another oldie but a favorite, I love how Too Little, Too Late sets an example that when someone crosses the line it's ok to say enough is enough. Jojo is basically saying here fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. She recognizes by letting go of a toxic relationship she is taking care of herself and that's 100% honorable.
"Hands to the sky, show me that you're mine
(Make me believe it)
Hands to the sky, show me that you're mine
And baby, worship me (worship me)
Worship me (get it together, make it feel good)
On your knees
Patiently, quietly, faithfully, worship me"
I love basically every song by Lizzo, but I especially love "Worship" because it promotes owning your sexuality as a woman. So often do men write sexually explicit songs but rarely do we see women get to express themselves publicly about it. We are taught as women to be meek or shy about it and I love that Lizzo breaks that mold by boldly telling her lover to worship her!
"I ain't gon' be cooking all day, I ain't your mama
I ain't gon' do your laundry, I ain't your mama
I ain't your mama, boy, I ain't your mama
When you're gon' get your act together?"
In "Ain't Your Mamma" J Lo tells it to her man straight. She defies gender roles by letting her man know that she won't be doing the same things his mother did. I think this is super important. So often to I find myself in relationships where I find the man expects normal gender roles, but us having progressed as a society and more women in the workforce than ever, I think it's time we share the at-home work load.
"I might have saved a little trouble for the next girl
'Cause the next time that he cheats
Oh, you know it won't be on me!
No, not on me"
Not only is "Before He Cheats" an awesome breakup anthem, but I also love how Carrie is looking out for the next girl. So many songs about breakups and romances gone wrong shame other women but here Carrie hopes that she saves other girls the same heartbreak by leaving her mark.
When I get chills at night
I feel it deep inside without you, yeah
Know how to satisfy
Keeping that tempo right without you, yeah"
It's obvious what this song is about and it's so exciting to see another artist not being ashamed or meek about her sexuality. Hailee Seinfeld owns it and sings about self love and self care. You go girl!
"If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends
(Gotta get with my friends)
Make it last forever, friendship never ends
If you wanna be my lover, you have got to give
Taking is too easy, but that's the way it is."
Perhaps the penultimate girl power anthem, Wannabe covers all of the bases. In the first verse the girls urge their lover that if they want to be with them, be with them and stop wasting their time. Their awesome hook lets him know that if he wants to be with her, he's got to deal with her girl gang and be willing to give to the relationship. It's really easy to change who you are in a relationship, but staying true to yourself and the girls who always have your back is so important and if you respect your own identity odds are the right guy will too. Recently, the Spice Girls released an awesome video encouraging education for women worldwide using Wannabe. Check it out here.