It was bound to pop up eventually.
Pop culture and mass media have a way of devaluing women and our contributions to the culture. It happens so often that it seems to have become second nature to uplift a man for mediocrity and, in the same breath, put down a woman for greatness. I’ve had people, friends, family, and acquaintances alike, come up to me and say things like, “I love One Direction’s songs,” and then turn around and say “I don’t like Little Mix,” and, while it’s okay to have opinions, usually they said that because then member of 1D, Zayn, was dating Little Mix member, Perrie Edwards.
Maybe it’s the fan culture that preys on young girls fondness of pretty faces, but it shows in the amount of outcry singers and entertainers get when they are male versus when they are female. It’s almost as if the same system that elevates the men is the one bringing women down. Now, I am also a follower of Korean pop culture, and it’s very telling when I can see our American response to them. The boys there are pretty, and they can sing, but, I promise you, anything the boys can do, the girls can do as well. Singers everywhere are diverse, but it really opened my eyes when one of my friends, a fellow K-pop fan, looked me in the eyes and said she doesn’t like girl groups. Period. Not one girl group, not one female singer. And her only reason was because they were girls. This type of behavior, this mindset is toxic and not something to be encouraged.
This can be applied to here, as well. Aside from the big singers like Beyonce and Whitney Houston, there are still people today that don’t like female entertainers based solely on their gender, and that goes for big names like Rihanna and Nicki Minaj. The amount of people that told me they didn’t believe Rihanna was abused by her past boyfriend, Chris Brown, because she stayed with him is sickening. Those same people rallied behind Chris Brown, and remained loyal fans all because he was cute and had good songs. And, I promise, those were the same people that would talk down about Nicki Minaj when she was coming up, all because she was a female rapper that was coming into her own.
I honestly don’t know where I’m going with this, I kind of got side tracked when I mentioned the K-pop. Sorry about that. However, I will say that this toxic mindset of women not being enough, never being enough, also plays a role in rapper Lil’ Kim’s life. She admitted that she was constantly told she wasn’t good enough as herself, so she got plastic surgery to try to reach that ideal. She later became addicted to the practice and, when she still didn’t feel like she was hitting the ideal, she started to bleach her skin. This is so sad and heartbreaking for me because she admitted that men always passed her over, calling her ugly or, worse, pretty for a dark skin girl, and it’s horrible and toxic and no woman should ever feel that. If you look up pictures of Lil’ Kim from when she first acme on the scene in 1994 to now, there is a huge difference in her appearance.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, we need to fix how society judges women verses men. There is absolutely no reason for men to get by doing the bare minimum while women have to break their backs to get acknowledged. Pop that.