On Women Empowerment in Music, Advertising & Social Media: Feminism at its best or worst?

Not sure if this was planned, but 3 songs were released in quick succession of one another, and they all are about empowering women about acknowledging their beauty (I wonder if this is something that's decided is "on-trend" now by research analysts and big recording labels decide to run with it.)

Altogether not a new concept for sure, anyone who's been alive the past few years has undoubtedly come across one or two Dove real beauty viral videos or tried to get One Direction's "You don't know you're beautiful" out of their heads), but I kind of dig the new wave of positivity, acceptance and self awareness in the media these days concerning women empowerment and female body image.

If you, like me, found yourself pretty much bawling after John Legend's video, here's a lighthearted debut from Meghan Trainor. A fun, cute-sy song that may be bordering on skinny hate and pandering to men - "Yeah my momma she told me don't worry about your size. She says, boys they like a little more booty to hold at night."

If you think I'm a little harsh, that's nowhere near the criticism John Legend's song has received from Buzzfeed and New Republic with statements like "Don't tell us we don't know we're beautiful, and certainly don't tell us that our ignorance to this fact is our best quality. We're good."

The Internet is never happy, really.

But I think advertising campaigns choosing to forgo photoshop like Aerie's unretouched lingerie ads at the start of the year, or Vanessa Hudgen's endorsed clothing campaign is a step in the right direction. Even with all the hate #nomakeupselfie campaign received, if all it takes is a little selfie to make a teen girl feel better about herself at a time when it's common to experience crippling low-self esteem, then what's the harm, right? 

Always #LikeAGirl was another campaign done right recently, where the words "Like a Girl" were reclaimed from being a derogatory remark to something that cannot be categorized in anyway, and attempted somewhat to shatter a cultural cliche of demeaning women with those words. Far from shattering social media records, I think a true victory was a comment from a father on Facebook who wrote "When I watched #LikeaGirl, I cried like a boy".

You're probably wondering how feminism comes into play here, oh and believe me it does. I won't delve too deeply into a topic so hotly discussed, but what I will say is that feminism is all about power in a woman's decision, and freedom to choose. It's about equality.

So in terms of videos where you're told "you don't have to try so hard" by putting your makeup on, getting your nails done, curling your hair, running that extra mile, "so they like you", who's to say women don't do all those things to make themselves happy, and it's not all about pleasing other people?

Should videos presume to think that women do all these things out of insecurity alone? Can't women just be free to do whatever they want without their actions being judged and condemned?

With that note, I'll leave you with a link to one of my favorite bloggers in Dubai. LuAnne, of Weesha's World,  a plus-size fashion blogger who has killer style and oodles of confidence, who DGAF about the world's messed up beauty standards.

LuAnne of Weesha's World. (Image credit)
Check out Luanne's posts on body image here.
There's also Hello Giggles, founded by the Queen of Quirk herself, Zooey Deschanel, which is a positive online community for women, you can find anything from fashion, beauty, pop culture and everything in between. Check out their Facebook page here, and website here.

What did you think about the music videos and viral campaigns? Do you feel it's empowering to women? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook or in the comments below!

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