Monthly Archives: July 2012

The rise of the white girl power anthem

One thing to check off on my bucket list is to coin a term a la “yuppie” or “manic pixie dream girl” that becomes so popular that it earns its own place in regular conversation or Wikipedia. So maybe that’ll happen with this…(wishful thinking since like three people read this blog, but whatevs.)

I was out working in the backyard garden when Keith cranked up his Kelly Clarkson Pandora station. Most of her songs sound the same to me, but one that stands out is “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).” Then a few Pink songs come on. And then a few Katy Perry songs in between. All these women are singing about the same thing: Self-assurance, self-reliance and independence.

The only thing is, though, is that all these songs are mostly gender-neutral. Unlike, say, Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls),” anybody could relate to the themes in these songs, whether it be a breakup, a move-forward, a goodbye, or whatever. They avoid making too heavy-handed statements, which would nix a “Born this Way” or something similar. They’re all pop songs with faux guitars to give it a rockier edge. Most can cross between adult contemporary audiences and younger ones. There are no hints of R&B or soul, so they’re easier to digest. And they’re all sung by white women.

I’ll call it the white girl power anthem. Examples of these include:

“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” – Kelly Clarkson
“So What,” Pink
“Raise Your Glass,” Pink
“Fuckin’ Perfect,” Pink
“Wide Awake,” Katy Perry
“Part of Me,” Katy Perry (the definitive white girl power anthem)
“We R Who We R,” Ke$ha
“Already Gone,” Kelly Clarkson
“King of Anything,” Sara Bareilles

Feel free to add some more to the list.