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Songs that Gave Me a Sense of Empowerment

By Ari Trevino, PR Chair

Music changed my life. Oftentimes, putting my airpods in (not sponsored) to listen to some music is the only thing that helps me feel at ease. Aside from playing music to fit/ match/ aid my mood, music has helped me learn more about myself and our society. I want to talk about how music and awareness are a duo that does so much help for people. More specifically, as a feminist, it’s empowering to listen to other women talk about things like beauty standards, body image, and respect. In this post, I’ll be talking about three songs that gave me a sense of empowerment and helped solidify my love for music as well bringing awareness to issues that a lot of women deal with.

Beyonce, an incredible singer/ songwriter of our generation, is known not only for her talent but also for her beauty. In her self-titled album “Beyonce,” track number 1 titled “Pretty Hurts,” talks about the misconception of being pretty and detrimental beauty standard that is portrayed in television and in the media. Being a curvier woman, Beyonce has dealt with harsh criticisms from peers about her body. A line from the song states “Vogue says thinner is better” which exposes the false ideal that women who are thinner are “better,” more acceptable, and more beautiful. Furthermore, she speaks about how women who do not fit the “ideal” often feel like they have to fix these imperfections. While getting plastic surgery can be quite beneficial/helpful in some cases, it can also be quite damaging. Getting plasic surgery to “fix” ones exterior to be “pretty” teaches women that instead of accepting these so called flaws, they should just change their appearance to gain superficial acceptance. Moreover, the media goes to extreme lengths often times (i.e. photoshopping) to make women fit their standard. In summation, Beyonces’ message is that beauty and being pretty comes from within and isnt something that people should have to change.

Billie Eillish, a pop singer, released her second studio album titled Happier Than Ever late July of 2021. Track 9, Not My Responsibility, talks about body image and how as a female artist, she's been heavily scrutinized for her fashion choices. Billie has been known to wear baggy unrevealing clothes in order to avoid people commenting on her body. If the clothes she wears isn't shaping or revealing, she believed that people wouldn’t comment on her body, but rather, the media has consistently pointed out her fashion choices regardless. Many comments from people and tabloids suggest she try dressing more “feminine” meaning more tight fitting/revealing clothes. This shows a horrible double standard that women in these kinds of industries face. Furthermore, it pushes a sexualized agenda that women who wear more tight revealing clothes, are more beautiful and famous. Women face a lot of criticism for the way they dress. If women wear clothes that are too baggy, they are not “feminine” enough, but if women wear too tight or revealing clothes, they are sexualized or slut shamed. Women should wear things that make them happy, regardless of what others think or say. Moreover, with this track, Billie makes it clear that others' opinions of you are not your responsibility.


Queen Latifah was a huge influence on the hip-hop scene in the 90s and one of her most popular songs was U.N.I.T.Y, released in 1994. In this song, she talks about not only being a woman in a male dominated industry but in a society where women are often put down, mistreated, and objectified. One of my favorite lines from the song is,

“Every time I hear a brother call a girl a b**** or a ho. Tryna make a sister feel low. You know all of that gots to go.”

The B-word is tossed around so lightly amongst many men I’ve met, and it's a real issue as Queen Latifah talks about. Women who are constantly referred to as such can be so damaging to ones self-esteem and can greatly effect the way women are subconsciously seen by other men. Furthermore, men who continue to lightly use the word without understanding its obvious negative effects, show other easily influenced people that its OK or acceptable to treat women with a lack of respect. Queen Latifah’s inspiring and empowered message in U.N.I.T.Y is sadly still so relevant after almost 30 years later, but hopefully the message is something that people can continue to learn from.

Queen Latifah was a huge influence on the hip-hop scene in the 90s and one of her most popular songs was U.N.I.T.Y, released in 1994. In this song, she talks about not only being a woman in a male dominated industry but in a society where women are often put down, mistreated, and objectified. One of my favorite lines from the song is “Every time I hear a brother call a girl a b**** or a ho. Tryna make a sister feel low. You know all of that gots to go.” The B-word is tossed around so lightly amongst many men I’ve met, and it's a real issue as Queen Latifah talks about. Women who are constantly referred to as such can be so damaging to ones self-esteem and can greatly effect the way women are subconsciously seen by other men. Furthermore, men who continue to lightly use the word without understanding its obvious negative effects, show other easily influenced people that its OK or acceptable to treat women with a lack of respect. Queen Latifah’s inspiring and empowered message in U.N.I.T.Y is sadly still so relevant after almost 30 years later, but hopefully the message is something that people can continue to learn from.

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