Friday, 15 November 2013

It's Hard Out Here - Review.

Lily Allen - Hard Out Here Review

I am stunned by Lily Allen's "comeback" video. In a good way I mean. I think the message that she is sending out for young women everywhere is a positive one, perfectly timed considering the controversy created by Miley's twerking and the lyrics in Robin Thicke's new song 'Blurred Lines'. it makes a change for a woman to step out for a reason, rather than "just to create a new controversy". It's clear that she has a point to make, and I think that she makes it very well. In this day and age, when women should be equal and are making (limited) improvements regarding equality in the workplace, I think the media isn't reflecting this at the moment. Bikini clad dancers in music videos, and emaciated models on the catwalk seem to have been taken as the norm, but now Ms Allen has addressed the issue in full. When I was watching the video I was grimacing but that's precisely the point. The objectification and sexually driven images of women in the media are disturbing, especially if Miley Cyrus' most recent performances are anything to go by.

One of my aspirations for the future is to work more on my singing and acting, and I hope that the industry makes way for strong women who have real things to talk about, and real messages to put out there. However the more I think about it, the more I think that perhaps Lily Allen hasn't gone the best way about it. I have much more respect and admiration for women like Adele and Emeli Sande who have respect for the industry and don't delve too deeply in the media attention. I think a more successful 'feminist' angle would be to concentrate on the music, and show that women do not sink to the level of *some* men (I appreciate that this is a huge sweeping statement), by using sex as a tool for media attention. Lily Allen has played into the hands of the media here, by using this issue to sell records. Maybe. I don't think that is the case, but with her return to music I think it should be taken into account that she would want to make an impression, to secure her place once more within the music industry. Musically speaking, her new song is bland and it feels like a speech to the media rather than a top-quality song. Seems fairly hypocritical considering she is blaming people for focusing on the media rather than the song itself.

Having said that, what she is doing here is still hugely valuable, as the issue does need to be addressed. It has already been brought to the public's attention that women are being undermined in the industry and protests up and down the country about 'Blurred Lines' have shown that. "You're an animal, baby it's in your nature" is a huge put-down to feminists, and his only justification for it was that he liked to be controversial to 'keep things fresh'. Personally, I think that feminism should open up choices for women, so that they can have the freedom to do as they please. This seems to be what Lily Allen is intending to do, battling against other celebs who insist that 'sex sells', swinging naked on a wrecking ball - clearly not doing women any favours. All I can say is that I hope this is a one-off from Lily Allen, and that she builds up respect for producing truly great music. Credit to her though, for putting a very strong message out there, and also singing beautifully in her Christmassy 'Somewhere Only We Know', which is a great tune.

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