UK Popstar Sophie Ellis-Bextor Says Flaunting Your Body In Public Is Not Female Empowerment

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She’s been around on the music scene a hell of a lot longer than Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga, and at 34 years Sophie Ellis-Bextor is still one classy and talented lady who we can always count on for great music.

She burst onto the international charts with her hit song ‘Groovejet’ (If this ain’t love) with Italian DJ Spiller, and the song soared to the top of the charts and stayed there. Her music career has been a staple for the past decade or so, and she is a married mother of three boys which keeps her busy outside of the studio.

Her biggest solo single was ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ from 2001 which ironically became a coincidental forethought to a gig she took on many years later. A stint on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, UK’s version of Dancing with the Stars in 2013 ensured her popularity with the next generation, albeit in a different phase of her life. That phase, is one of experience, wisdom and maturity, the likes of which can be rare in an industry like pop music.

She released her fifth studio album, Wanderlust, in October 2013 and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. She spoke to the Telegraph about her musical journey, her rivalry with Victoria Beckham who she famously beat in the charts back in 2000 (the two insist the rivalry was all media spin) and her thoughts on today’s popstars.

She comes from a showbiz family, and was always destined to be part of the game. Her dad is a TV producer and her mother was a kids TV host back in the day. Having been around for quite a while, you’d think she would have to change things up and perhaps make more of a “noise” or get her clothes off to get attention amidst all the other bigger names in music. Not so!

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“I’m not very good at playing the kinds of games to keep myself in the public eye,” she shrugs. “I wouldn’t want to thrust myself in people’s faces like Lady Gaga. I loved her theatricality initially, but four years on, it looks exhausting and she looks exhausted.”

There are so many debates about the likes of Gaga and Miley Cyrus who sell millions of albums worldwide, and people argue that their nudity, sexual displays and over-exposure are what got them across the line. Once again, not so!

“You know, she’s clomping around in heelless shoes and a meat dress, then Adele comes along and sells billions of records without doing any of that stuff. I just think the only thing you can do is find your own niche and do what works for you.”

She couldn’t have made a stronger point! Is getting naked the key to success? Doesn’t seem so after seeing what Adele did. But Sophie says her secret is staying true to herself and maintaining her sanity.

“It’s hard enough just keeping your sense of self and remaining on the level. I just want to be able to get up in the morning and know that I’m happy with what I’m doing and be able to face myself in the mirror.”

This leads to her thoughts about whether female musicians are truly empowered by what they do on stage or in a music video. Is using your sexuality a powerful thing, or a manipulative tool by record labels to make women think they are in control?

“For me, the reason things get debated is because the context or intention is not owned in the right way by whoever’s doing it. That’s when people feel uncomfortable, or it provokes comment.”

All of this makes her glad she has three boys, not girls!

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“Girls are encouraged to put their sexuality out there as an empowering thing, but that can also put you on the back foot. It would be a really sensitive issue if you have a girl that’s anywhere from about eight to 18.”

We are so freaking glad she said this, because there are far too many voices convincing girls of the opposite! We need more positive role models in all areas of entertainment teaching their audiences the downside to exposure, at the same time show them the value in themselves where they don’t need to be exploited just to get ahead or get attention.

“But it’s hard to get that across when you’re a teenager,” she laughs. “When I was 15, we had…Wonderbras and things like More! magazine with its ‘Position of the Fortnight’ feature. And there were as many debates about Madonna then as there are about Miley Cyrus now. But Madonna always seemed to be in control of what she was doing – that’s what I always liked about her when I was growing up. She had her own agenda, and was like, screw you if you don’t get it, and I thought that was pretty cool. That’s why I think you should always try and gauge the look in someone’s eyes, see if they comprehend what they’re doing and the images they’re playing with.”

Sophie gives some simple, yet good advice for young women when it comes to navigating peer pressure, industry pressure and the desire to look good according to society’s standards. She basically says screw them all, just be yourself.

“You’ve got to know what you’re able to carry off and what you can’t,” she cackles. “Some options are really not options at all. That’s been very useful to me in avoiding a lot of pitfalls.”

We hope promoting messages like Sophie’s and many other inspiring women’s words will help all young women out there avoid many pitfalls so that they can live a life of true empowerment, not a masked one.

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10 Comments

  1. Ohh flaunting your body in public, how disgusting. Put some clothes on, put it away. That’s what this is saying and it’s dressing prudity towards female flesh and feminism. BULLSHIT.

  2. Pingback: Sophie Ellis Bextor And The Feminist Shaming Message Of PUT SOME BLOODY CLOTHES ON WOMAN | SEX SHAMING WATCH

  3. I stopped reading after she put Lady Gaga & Miley Cyrus in the same sentence. Lady Gaga is an intelligent compassionate woman who is using her fame to empower young people (I’m 41 and she empowers me too) her message is about acceptance and that is the opposite of judgement. Sorry Sophie but I’m simply bored by this interview.

  4. Pingback: Pop Queen Sophie Ellis-Bextor Says Being A Working Mom Is Important To Her 'Familia' - GirlTalkHQ

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