Jessie J, Nicki Minaj & Ariana Grande Team Up For Girl Power Anthem

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Girl power anthems are something we look forward to every year. There’s always a few standout hits that last more than just that year. Beyonce’s ‘Girls (who run the world)’, Aretha Franklin & The Eurythmics’ ‘Sisters are doing it for themselves’, and who can forget The Spice Girls’ ‘Spice Up Your Life’. 2014 promises to be the year of Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj’s new hit ‘Bang Bang’.

It’s a song that has been described as being packed with messages about female empowerment.

“Bang bang cocking it / Queen Nicki dominant / It’s me, Jessie and Ari / If they test me they sorry,” says Nicki in her signature rap style.

“claiming that while some female may have a booty like an hourglass, she can give it to you anytime,” croons British singer and former judge on

‘The Voice’ UK Jessie J.

While these lyrics aren’t exactly revolutionary, and some of them are sung in reference to a man, and competing with other women, here’s why we’re all for girl power tracks. They encourage an open dialog on a number of different forums about the representation of women in music and media. People cannot stop talking about Beyonce’s brand of feminism, what “movement” Miley Cyrus is claiming to stand for, how Lady Gaga is empowering fans by dressing so abstractly and so on and so forth. Of course, those are only a few examples of women in music who stand for something specifically feminine, but they are probably some of the most widely know given they are so famous.

Nicki Minaj has certainly been a polarizing figure in not just the rap and hip hop world, but in pop music in general . Her bubblegum pink imagery contrasted with her hard-hitting and often controversial lyrics make it hard for people to definitively categorize her. Is she a feminist? Is she demure? Is she wack? Nicki Minaj doesn’t subscribe to anyone else’s notion of what feminine should look like, and that’s the message that speaks volumes.

She has been very open in the past about not being called a female rapper, preferring instead to be known simply as a successful artist, regardless of gender, because she works just as hard as any of the boys and has the accolades to prove it.

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Jessie J has been embroiled in gender conversations since her massive breakout hit ‘Do it like a Dude’. Her lyrics assert that women can do whatever they want just as good as the boys. While some critics have chastised her for encouraging women to act like men to be successful, and therefore saying the natural traits of women are irrelevant when it comes to climbing the ladder of success, at least she is putting her thoughts and opinions out there so that people are talking about it. The more these discussions are being had, the more it gets women thinking about their own representations in life, as well as in the media.

How should a woman define success? How much of her own feminine traits should she embrace or reject to be seen on the same level of success as a man? Is it even about male comparisons at all? These are all valid questions, and everyone is going to have differing opinions. The point is not to all agree, the point is to all HAVE an opinion and find out what it is we stand for when it comes to our image as women.

Celebrities and music stars can only do so much, and give us pointers. They can’t think for us, only present their own ways of thinking and put out into the world what they know, which is what this trio are doing. The combo of the feisty Jessie J, the polarizing Nicki Minaj, and the young, demure Ariana Grande should already give you an indication that girl power comes in many forms, as does feminism.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4 show ‘Woman’s Hour’ in 2013 Jessie talks more about her message in ‘Do it like a Dude’ and why she is passionate about her message. The host asked her, 3 years after the single was released, whether she still stands by the “girls can do it like the guys too” mantra.

“I think I would definitely still go on stage and say ‘we can do it like you’ [the men]. The song is about saying: don’t try and undermine us as women; we can do it just like you.

“Like, I’m sitting at the same awards ceremony tables. I’m going to the same massive meetings. I’m performing at the Olympics with all these guys. You know, as a woman, it is tough to get to the top – like to get to that respected level in this industry – in any industry I think.”

She goes on to talk about how women can sometimes be seen as arrogant when it comes to their success, and that’s not fair.

“I think being nice and being safe is unfair to yourself when you have big dreams as a woman. I think you have to prepare yourself that not everyone in this world has the same personality… The one thing I’ve chosen to be great at in my life is singing – so why not be proud that I’m great at it?”

She concluded by saying women need to be fearless and have a thick skin. And she is absolutely right. When you put yourself out there in any way, you are bound to get criticism, just as much as positivity. Why? because we all think differently, and that’s ok.

Jessie touched on the issue of sexism in another interview saying while it doesn’t affect her as much any more because she’s at a stage in her career where she can call the shots, there are others out there do are still affected.

“I think people underestimate the difficulties you go through being a woman. For me, I feel confident and powerful enough that sexism doesn’t affect me anymore. That’s where you have to get to but not every woman is in a position where they can’t allow it to not affect them. I feel obliged, whatever my fame is, to shed light on things that are dark. Millions of young women do go through [sexism] and don’t know how to get out of it.”

So whether you like girly anthems which talk about getting your man back by your side, or hits that are proponents of women who rely on each other for support, its the variety that serves us best. Just like we as women want to be represented in the media in all our glorious diversity, then we should expect that from the women who represent us with their messages.

Female celebs, like us regular folk, are just as complex and don’t want to be categorized by society. The best way we find not to get disillusioned one minute is to be open to having a conversation and discussing why or why not a message doesn’t resonate with you, and find those nuggets of positivity which you can run with. That way it is not about putting the person on a pedestal, it is about empowering yourself with the words that apply to you. Whether it be about sexism, relationships, gender norms, success, or sisterhood there is something out there for every woman looking to find an empowering female anthem.

Check out ‘Bang Bang’ below which was directed by (a female! yay!) Hannah Lux:

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