“I’m tired and angry, but somebody should be.” — Halsey
In today’s society, as more people begin to openly speak on topics such as consent and women’s rights alongside the distinguished #MeToo Movement, the rise of power amongst women is undeniable. Rather than tearing one another down, women have been coming together to support and encourage each other. They have been tirelessly fighting for the things they believe in and constantly making sure that their voices are being heard at protests and rallies. Now their voices and their messages are also making it onto the radio.
Notable pop powerhouses Miley Cyrus and Ashley Frangipane, better known by her stage name, Halsey, have been using their voices and their platforms to share their thoughts and opinions on the undeniable beauty, strength and toughness of women. With raw, colorful visuals and lyrics that both empower and inspire, Miley and Halsey are amongst the numerous artists showcasing just how important it is to have powerful female artists on today’s radio stations.
Miley Cyrus’s hit song “Mother’s Daughter” from her recently released EP SHE IS COMING, has ignited in listeners feelings of strength and motivation. With lyrics such as, “don’t f*ck with my freedom,” and the repeated refrain “back up, back up, back up, boy,” Miley is certain to declare herself as a free and independent woman whose freedom is not one to be messed with. Throughout the song, she also alludes to powerful figures such as witches and “Nile crocodiles”; the former having been particularly feared by men in the 1600s during a time in which numerous women were persecuted, usually due to the fact that the women chose not to live by society’s norms. By the bridge, Miley goes on to describe the encouragement she received from her mother who pushed her to follow her dreams and never back down despite the opinions of others — so, pretty much all of society in general.
The music video for “Mother’s Daughter,” released early July, features countless striking visuals, each of vital importance. From the beauty of a woman’s body, breastfeeding in public, C-sections, LGBTQ+ rights and more, Miley made sure to hit the nail on the head with this video in terms of serious feminist vibes. With phrases flashing across the screen every few seconds that say “virginity is a social construct,” “sin is in your eyes” and more, the music video for “Mother’s Daughter” touches on several significant topics that aren’t spoken about as much as they should be. Miley, however, shows her support for women and the LGBTQ+ community throughout her lyrics and the music video.
Halsey on the other hand dabbles with social constructs in her new single “Nightmare” that has easily become an anthem for women across the world. The song starts out with Halsey’s experience in a past relationship in which her ex boyfriend cheated on her. This idea immediately refers to Halsey’s encounters with having been treated badly by men. Halsey then launches into the pre-chorus, singing the biting words; “come on little lady, give us a smile,” an allusion to the frequent catcalling that women often find themselves victim of. This is also a common line used by both men and the media when they expect women to be constantly happy and smiling. Though Halsey goes on to say that she has “got nothing to smile about” and “no one to smile for,” instantaneously crushing the notion that women should be regularly smiling, especially as women must fight for basic rights every day.
The second verse of “Nightmare,” however, is the one most jam-packed with both significant and distinctive lyrics. With lines like “I’ma let you speak if you just let me breathe,” and “‘cause kindness is weakness, or worse you’re complacent,” Halsey alludes to the common accusations men have of women and feminist movements, labelling them as angry and aggressive, not listening to rationality. Halsey makes it clear that she will listen if men will just let her – and other women – breathe without constantly being stifled by male opinions and inputs on their bodies and their lives. Halsey ends the verse on a more obvious note by simply stating that she is, “tired and angry” and that “somebody should be.” This final line is a call to women everywhere, telling them to look around and to be angered by the things going on in the world. Halsey wants them to be exasperated and raging like she is.
The music video for “Nightmare” is exclusively full of women. From women dressed in men’s couture, women jumping in the streets and Halsey being portrayed as a rather deconstructed version of the 1940s housewife, the anger conveyed in the song is clearly portrayed through the various visuals in the video. At one part during the video, Halsey amongst other women are seen holding a newspaper with the words “it’s our turn,” printed on the front, inferring that it is time for society to listen to what women have to say. Toward the end of the music video, a group of women are seen standing in what appears to be a riot where a flag that reads “not your b*tch” is being held. With this music video, Halsey emphasizes her support for women’s rights as well as her support for the LGBTQ+ community.
While Miley Cyrus and Halsey are certainly not the only female artists currently shaking up society with their powerful lyrics and striking visuals, they certainly make the list of powerful females on the radio who are doing so now.
At a time in which it is so urgent that little girls and women everywhere learn the importance of standing up for themselves and speaking up for what they believe in, tracks like “Mother’s Daughter” and “Nightmare” that have such influential messages aid in making this clearer. Having such powerful songs as these playing frequently on today’s radio stations is crucial in spreading the ever growing movement that is female power.
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