Pop: love it or hate it, that’s the dilemma. Its tacky kitsch aesthetic and its catchy melodies might be a teenager’s golden shelter or an annoying déja-vu for the alternative music’s enthusiasts.
Nevertheless, the pop scene, which is basically a women’s world, never lost its dreamy allure and its huge potential, that’s all about conveying positive messages.
Popstars were the very first queens of self expression, and great supporters of gay rights or battles for the environment or the minorities… and it can go on and on.
In the 70s there was Cher, scandalously dressed up in laces and glitters, who sang “I’m a woman” together with Raquel Welch, and who constantly fought to be considered as equal as men. Once, while she was interviewed, she said: “My mom said to me: <<You know sweetie, one day you should settle down and marry a rich man>> and I said: <<Mom, I am a rich man>>”.
Then came Madonna, a living pop legend, a long-standing gay rights supporter since the ‘80s. She was the very first one who acknowledged the talent of a bunch of afroamerican gay dancers who lived in New York City’s ghetto and turnt them into voguing stars. During the Rome stage of the “Blonde Ambition Tour” she risked to be arrested for obscene acts. Her performance of “Like a Virgin”, where she depicted a ménage-à-trois followed by autoeroticism, deeply concerned the Vatican. And in these days she’s committed to promote gun control and denounce Trump’s racist policy through her brand new album “Madame X”.
Her worthy heiress was surely Britney Spears, a young gifted pretty little girl who went from Disney Channel to a sexy and provocative career. Her latex outfits, her sensual dances with a snake, and her engagement with Justin Timberlake: these were all statements of how a young woman should feel about her sexuality and her power. She used to have a chastity ring and to share an expensive mansion with JT. They were young, famous, beautiful, and most of all they were America’s golden couple, an example and a dream for millions of teenagers all around the world.
Beside her there was Christina Aguilera. One day she was sexy and wild in the “Dirrty” videoclip, one day she was singing sweetly in your ears that you were “Beautiful” (the ultimate self-love hymn). Britney and Christina became pop princesses between the ‘90s and the ‘00s, subversive and iconic (do you remember their kiss with Madonna? Trailblazing).
And when the social networks had a boom, everything changed but the popstars’ urgency to be activists. Rihanna and Beyoncé became the faces and voices of the black community and of body-positive. It’s been a few years since Queen Bey started her campaign of celebration of the Afroamerican community, an ill-treated and vulnerable minority who found a voice through her glorious “Homecoming” project, a hymn to black power. Riri founded a series of brands that are all about inclusion: every woman, no matter her complexion or her size, can relate to it and find the perfect foundation or a good pair of jeans.
Gaga, Miley, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and many more are great feminists, they fight for the LGBTQ rights and talk about serious issues such as sexuality, drug abuse and mental health (Ariana also shared a medical report showing her PTS disorder).
A popstar’s charm is the capacity of intermingling joy and frivolity with genuine authenticity. They can tell us true stories and make their battles our battles. God save our queens.
COPYRIGHT ACRIMONIA 2019