I think at this point apologizing for not blogging consistently is getting consistently boring, so instead I’ll just jump right into today’s topic: female representation.
Woahhh, not a post I thought I’d be typing out, but something important to me. Just a warning, I haven’t planned out exactly what I’m going to say or how I’m going to say it yet, so it may come out a bit jumbled.
So representation is important, I think we can all agree on that. It’s also largely unbalanced, with the majority of characters and people in the media being white, heterosexual, and cisgendered, and successful, prominent figures usually being male.
Diversity in representation is improving these days, though often certain characteristics such as being homosexual or Asian or feminine plant themselves in stereotyped characters that are there specifically to be that one characteristic and not well-rounded people. This type of representation is more of what I want to talk about, specifically in relation to women.
This post was inspired by an article tearing into Meghan Trainor’s latest single “Dear Future Husband,” a song and video which I admittedly am not in love with myself, but can’t get to a point of disgust that said article is at. The song is all about things her future husband should keep in mind, things to expect of her and ways to treat her, and the video takes on a 50’s housewife vibe with Trainor in dresses cleaning or cooking. The article takes the song lyric by lyric, dissecting all of the ways it sounds ridiculous, even starting with “She’s championing an obnoxiously high-maintenance, heteronormative pipe nightmare poorly disguised as a swirly rainbow lollipop of girl power” under their headline.
Like I said, I don’t like the song or the message behind it. That said, what I think the author of this article is forgetting is that Trainor is not a character. If this were a character in a tv show or a movie saying her future husband has to buy her flowers or tell her she’s beautiful every night, sure, I would have a problem with that, because then it would be a stereotypical form of femininity created by someone as a guise of representation. But that’s the thing: this is a real person who evidently identifies as heterosexual and puts out the impression of being “high maintenance.” She may not be the kind of person you want to support or have as a best friend, but she’s a real person with these and other characteristics and deserves to express that through her art.
There should be more of other types of prominent female figures represented in the media and music. My understanding of feminism is that you can be a woman with a lot of femininity or very little, with high intelligence or low artistic ability or strong athleticism or any combination of a person because you are an individual person, and you are valid and worth respect. So while I may not love high maintenance girls, I know they exist, and I know someone out there is going to resonate with this song, and as long as they aren’t being emotionally or physically abusive or manipulative, I can’t have a problem with that. All forms of honest representation should be valid representation.
If you want to read the article/watch the video and form your own opinion, I would love to hear about them in the comments below.