Life’s ‘Hard Out Here For A Bitch’


Words by Elizabeth Pollard

How do we define feminism in 2014? There has recently been a trend for celebrities like Beyonce, high profile women like Sheryl Sandberg and publications like Elle UK to make it their mission to rebrand the once dirty and surprisingly un-feminine, ‘feminist’. One such celebrity is Lily Allen. Whether through her own admission or not, throughout her career Lily Allen has addressed the social expectations of herself, as a celebrity and a woman. Declaring to the world that a man’s bad in bed, daring to be vulnerable about a broken heart and even flaunting the dollar she has earned, Lily refuses to be the quiet, kept woman that would’ve been expected of her in the past.

The thing I liked most about Lily was her hardened honesty that she cared what people thought of her, but never enough to keep carving her own path. As a teenage popstar she paraded her ‘I can do whatever the fuck I want’ attitude on the stage and in the press and as a young mum and homemaker she was proud to hit back against the traditional feminist and to be a proud stay at home mum. Even her return to music wanted to make a statement about the state of celebrity and pop culture which continues to objectify women with her single ‘Hard Out Here’.

So you can imagine my surprise when we saw good old Lily ‘the ultimate modern woman’ Allen on the pyramid stage last week, fingers poised on her vaj-a-jay (even if it was to pull out a ‘front wedgie’) as if she were on tour with, the girl responsible for allowing men to continue their sexual exploitation of women, Miley Cyrus. Despite swearing she would never let the media affect her weight again, Lily stormed on stage, half her size and brimming full of ladette humour. Her introduction back into music featured ‘slutty’ dance routines and vulgar lyrics designed to mock the industry’s treatment towards women. But the dancers didn’t seem to want to leave…

With such a strong sense of self and the opportunity to be a role model to hundreds of thousands of young women, it really makes me wonder why Lily’s intentions are in the right place but her actions haven’t quite caught up yet? Is how we look and treat each other in such a dire situation that our ‘sophisticated’ ideas are overwhelmed by a crippling sense of insecurity? Nothing about twerking, half naked whilst worryingly under-weight screams ‘I’m comfortable in my body and am proud of who I am’, it’s more like a drug that gives its user a quick-fix and a false feeling love and adoration. Let’s work on inspiring girls, boys, women and men to channel some of the old Lily and make choices for yourself not for your audience.




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