Lily Allen Laments The Way The Media Pits Women Against Each Other

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She is the “anti” pop star, and always has been. British singer Lily Allen is notorious for not giving a damn but for a good reason, she lives by what she says and doesn’t do anything for show.

That is probably one of the reasons she is talked about in a polarizing way. Her music is undeniably filled with meaningful lyrics that have a strong message. No bubblegum pop here. Music is the platform Lily uses to speak out about her industry and we respect her for that.

Her new album ‘Sheezus’, released on May 6, is a product of the past two years of her life and a commentary of issues she feels strongly about. During the album writing and recording process, she was pregnant with her second child, and had an infant who also needed looking after. Needless to say her perspective had changed a lot since her last album!

She tells Rollingstone Magazine why Sheezus was so important to her and breaks down some of the misconceptions about some of the tracks. She talks about being afraid of failure at times, especially because she took such a long break between albums.

“I wanted the album to be called Sheezus before I had a song with that title. Then I had to figure out a message. It starts off with me being quite scared about coming back. I’m really a sensitive person, and I take that on,” she said.

“I don’t like being compared to other people because I’m quite aware that there are people who are far more talented and have better singing voices than me. I don’t like being put in the same category as people because we have the same genitals and boobs.”

She says the comparisons between female musicians and pop stars are just a way for the media to distract women into competing with each other.

“I think in terms of humanity and evolution. It feels like the reason we play women against each other is because it’s the last bit of power that men have. They’re like, ‘Let’s make them feel shit about each other.’ ”

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Lily mentions singers such as Lady Gaga, Lorde, Rihanna, and Katy Perry in the title track, but despite people saying it is a song about dissing them, it is in fact the opposite.”It’s completely the opposite of that, though. I’m saying that I want all of them to be Sheezus, and I want to be Sheezus too. It’s just not true. And if [Lady Gaga’s] not succeeding commercially because she’s standing by what she does as art, then that’s a f#$!ing great thing. That’s to be commended. That’s what makes a martyr. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

Lily Allen says her record label were against the title track becoming a single because it had the word ‘period’ in it, yet its totally ok for male rappers and hip hop artists to talk about vaginas, butts, boobs and other sexually explicit descriptions of women. Oh OK then, no worries (we say sarcastically)!

After receiving some bad reactions on the internet for her song ‘Hard out Here’ which we loved because it was a very accurate in-your-face commentary on the state of the stupid expectations placed on women who want mainstream success, she wrote a song called ‘URL Badman’ which she says was a big middle finger to all of the people who misinterpreted and misrepresented her publicly.

“I wrote that after I put out the video for “Hard Out Here” and everyone said I was racist. I was really alarmed by that reaction. I stand by that video and I know what my intention was and I’m sorry that people interpreted it in a different way. A lot of that negative stuff came from females and the feminist blogger scene. What really pissed me off was the misogynistic, hipster, male bloggers that went after me in a completely different way.”

Once again, pointing out the way females find it so easy to attack each other, shows she is not buying into it and wants it to stop.

“It’s annoying being a woman since everyone pits us against each other. Then you go through the whole journey of my life with the album — almost like in a diary — and at the end it’s like, ‘Mhmm, still hard out here.’ ”

Now that she has children, she pays even more attention to the digital age because it’s not something she necessarily believes is a good thing, especially the whole ‘selfie’ phenomenon.

“What worries me more is Instagram. We’re in the age of the Selfie. It’s just encouraging vanity. It’s not even representative of anything except how you want people to perceive you. Think of when people are partying and having fun. They’re like, ‘Hey, look at us!’ You’re obviously not having that much fun because otherwise you wouldn’t be stopping to document it. It’s stupid,” she says.

“Imagine in twenty years, me going to my daughter and saying, ‘I think I’ve got this twelve-second footage of Beyoncé’s concert from 2005. Let me dig it out.’ That’s never going to happen.”

Reading Lily Allen’s words are always like a refreshing slap in the face where reality comes back sharply into focus in a good way. We’re glad that there are bold and abrasive women like her who aren’t willing to sell their souls just for fame and fortune.

While we do wish her all the success in the world with this album, we hope it will be a piece of contemporary cultural art that will for generations make young girls question the crap that comes their way through the media.

Coz let’s be honest, it really IS hard out here!

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