Feminist Mixtape: “Holy” by King Princess and “Nina Cried Power” by Hozier ft. Mavis Staples

King Princess, in her Genius lyrics interview breaking down the song, states how “gay people have always existed in religious texts, but never in a way that is respectful.” Within the lyric “honey, on your knees,” King Princess is referring to being bowed down to like a god or saint. It is a strong move to take back this power through the inclusions and allusions to religion throughout the song. Other areas in this song, including “cause when this day is done, I still got shit to run” mention how she is in charge and in control of what she decides. It also sends the message that one can succeed in life with or without the relationship, and how important healthy independence still is even while being with someone. This is a component of empowerment: understanding our worth in both the presence of and in the absence of a partner, and being with someone who does not discredit or misinterpret this fact as selfishness. Her albums have definitely opened up conversations about gender and sexuality, and the open space a person can live in between the binary. Through my recent readings, I have learned that King Princess has, however, faced controversies regarding the “Cheap Queen” album, as some may argue it is capitalizing off of queerness instead of helping to foster an inclusive community, and there are several stories online regarding some problematic actions done by King Princess. So, in general, while songs may result in a boost of confidence among listening, the intentions of the artists can be contested.

“Nina Cried Power” by Hozier ft. Mavis Staples may not be regarded as a feminist tune, as it is more of an anthem of the Civil Rights movement, but it is an exceptional song of revolution and includes the names of some incredible activists in the lyrics, including Nina Simone, and the voice of Mavis Staples herself. I think it always deserves a replay on Spotify. It is an incredible composition and promotes intersectionality, so I figured I might add it to our class playlist based off of our discussions and focuses throughout the semester as well.

Feminist Mixtape: “BO$$” by Fifth Harmony

Although Fifth Harmony may no longer be together, the message in their hit song “BO$$” remains relevant and important. The lyrics paired with the strong brassy sound of the instrumentals make this song an anthem of empowerment for women. 

This song portrays ideas of second wave feminism, defying ideas that women must stay in the home and only be a housewife, and instead empowers women to work and get the money they deserve, demanding respect from everyone around them. This can relate to one of the most prominent works from the second wave, The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, saying “She can say ‘no’ to those mass daydreams of the women’s magazines and television, ‘no’ to the depth researchers and manipulators who are trying to ruin her life” (Friedan 280). Lyrics such as “Workin’ for the money ‘cause it’s what my momma taught me So yo ass better show me some re-spect” reject stereotypes continually placed on women, similar to Friedan’s quote and the idea of second wave feminism overall.

Additionally, given the fact all five members are women of color, the song can be interpreted as a message of empowerment for all women, no matter their race or ethnicity. The lyrics repeatedly include strong Black women, saying “I’m on my Michelle Obama sh-” and “purse so heavy getting Oprah dollars,” highlighting the successes of notable women of color.

Not only are the lyrics empowering, but the music video sends a strong message of feminism and defying gender roles. Within the first ten seconds, messages such as “Find yourself. And be that,” or “Dreams don’t work unless you do,” are displayed across black screen for us to really read and understand their importance. There is also a scene of arm wrestling with the five girls against a group of men, where they all take their turn beating each man in a match. Arm wrestling has always been portrayed as a sign of strength and masculinity, I’ve noticed particularly in TV shows or media, so having all the girls beat the group of boys shows the reversed gender roles the message of the song conveys. 

Something that could have added more nuance and depth to the song is the mentioning of certain struggles or difficulties the members, or women in general, have to face. Lyrics such as “Don’t want yo compliments, use common sense,” or “I ain’t thirsting for no bae” hint at struggles women face by highlighting assumptions often made about women, but the message of the song could have been more impactful if deeper, more direct struggles women universally can relate to were included. Bringing back the fact that all of the members are women of color, while I love that they included other iconic Black women in the song, it would have been more impactful to see the members mention moments of struggle and triumph from their perspective as women of color. This would add more interest and depth, avoid repetition, and make it more relatable to women of color everywhere.

Theory to Praxis Assignment

In today’s society kids are growing up with factors that are very different from what parents grew up with. Starting with technology. Kids’ actions and beliefs are influenced by what they see and hear, and less by what they are told. TV especially is a major influence on kids’ behavior and views on society. These factors include body image, diversity, and influence on societal beliefs. This last one is less obvious, for example in elementary school and high school I watched Jessie, Liv and Madi, and Wizards of Waverly Place. All of these shows have main characters in high school, these shows are what I based high school off on and how I expected high school to be like. TV can influence people’s expectations of real-life situations. Tv, especially Disney, (at least when I was a child) had very little diversity, and many of the main characters were skinny, pretty, straight, white women. This shows both a lack of diversity in race and sexuality. It can also create body image issues when little kids grow up with role models that look like actual models. Creating a stereotypical belief that all women are supposed to look that way when they are older. 

Although many tv programs including Disney are starting to work on becoming more diverse, there is still a long way to go to create shows that support and show all bodies and sexualities. Since our generation is the first to be influenced by tv and some of us will raise children in the next 15 ish years, I believe that we are the solution to help future generations understand and analyze what they see on technology. Learning how to analyze shows and media will not only help our generation understand factors that have influenced us without our knowledge but it will also help the next generations. This is a goal of many feminists, as seen in many of our texts including “You Say Nature, I Say Nurture… Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off” by Suzanna Danuta Walters. Whether it is a younger sibling, a kid being babysat, or our own children. If our generation gets educated on how we were and kids are being influenced by television then we can be more attentive to what we are watching and what the kids around us are watching. We have the ability to prevent kids from watching certain shows, although that method may not work because kids have access to their own phones and computers earlier. Rather than attempting to control our kids’ freedom, we need to equip them with the ability to understand and see what is wrong with shows. This limits parents from being super controlling while giving kids the tools they need to analyze what they see on television. 

Once you start to analyze television shows you begin to realize the number of issues that are ignored or looked past. These issues need to be understood and recognized. It will take time to completely fix this issue, although many television programs have already begun to recognize and fix this issue and expand their diversity. And even though there is change, our generation, including the students at Davidson, needs to recognize these issues so they can prevent future generations from perceiving these shows as reality. A class that analyzes televisions and technological physiological effects on kids and teens would benefit our generation and future generations.

Theory to Praxis: Reimagining Greek Life at Davidson

As a school that was founded by white genteel slave owners and remained segregated until the 60s and all-male until the 70s, Davidson has a long history of elitism. Unfortunately, the college has done a poor job of repealing exclusive traditions and making the school as welcoming and safe as possible to people of all walks of life. One particularly glaring area of inequality is the social structure of Greek life on campus.

There are many things wrong with the status of Greek life at Davidson. Racial disparities are perhaps the most visible problem. My friend Michaela Gibbons is working on a project called Stories Yet To Be Told, conducting research on the history of Patterson Court Council (PCC) – the governing body of Greek life at Davidson. We have had many conversations about PCC this semester, and a lot of them have centered around PCC’s dominating whiteness. Kimberlé Crenshaw’s theory of intersectionality and Lorde’s “There are No Hierarchies of Oppression” (1983) emphasize that racial equality (and other equalities) are necessary to realize gender equality. All of the nine predominantly white PCC organizations have individual houses on campus, while the six PCC organizations for students of color must share space at the BSC (Black Student Coalition) house. This is clearly a problem for feminism, although solutions are somewhat difficult to propose. In this case, the simplest method to reduce white special power on campus may be to disband PCC or consolidate the predominantly white organizations.

Aside from racial inequality, another issue with Greek life at Davidson is its relationship to the gender binary. As a collection of organizations with membership based on male or female gender identification, PCC reinforces ideas that there are only two genders, which is clearly false when one understands Lorber’s perspective that gender is constructed. Since humans have made up the concept of gender, there is no reason to believe in all-or-nothing gender rules. And yet, PCC membership is exclusive to men and women. (Turner House, one of the eating houses, does allow anyone who is not a straight cis male to join, but this introduces the problematic circumstance of requiring people to out themselves). Furthermore, the predominance of “bristerhoods” (fraternity-eating house mixers) perpetuates heteronormativity. Requiring all PCC organizations to be open to all genders would be the easiest solution to make Davidson more feminist, although that would require converting some fraternal organizations to eating houses.

A final, and particularly glaring problem with PCC at Davidson is rape culture. We briefly talked in class about how society conditions males to violate and disrespect female bodies, and there is a prevailing willingness to let this slide. Society reinforces hegemonic sexual scripts, an orgasm gap, and poor understandings of consent, all of which lead to unequal sexual citizenship. This means that women have less power than men to make the choice to have sex. This is obviously problematic for feminism. At Davidson, PCC hopelessly perpetuates rape culture. For liability reasons, the school has strict rules about alcohol for parties at PCC houses. Because PCC organizations are too lazy or busy to plan detailed weekly parties and want to avoid strict scrutiny from the school, weekly parties are predominantly hosted at Armfield, the only residential space on campus where open consumption is permitted. Currently, Armfield apartments which host parties are exclusively rented by predominately white men with strong fraternity ties. This leads to constant sexual misconduct and a lack of safety at parties. Once again, it is not simple to find a solution to male ownership of party space at Davidson. However, some viable options would be disbanding PCC, creating more school-sponsored social events, and preventing Armfield apartments from having five male residents.

PCC is rife with inequalities, much of them a byproduct of Davidson’s elitist traditions. Thus, disbanding PCC and ending Greek life at Davidson is probably the most feminist solution. This would introduce a social vacuum for some time, but it couldn’t be any worse that the forced quarantine of the 2020-21 academic year.

Theory to Praxis: Ending Child Abuse and Building Resilient Families

Written by Anna Newman

Overview:

I will be implementing my knowledge of gender and sexuality studies, specifically on women’s rights, feminism, and rape culture, to plan a civic engagement experience over the summer. Through a collaboration with SAFEchild in Raleigh, North Carolina and Strong Girls United, the goal of the project will be to educate children on noticing and responding to child abuse appropriately before it escalates, while also learning more about the implications that domestic violence has on parenting.  

About the Partners: 

SAFEchild is a non-profit advocacy center that ensures children have a safe living environment, free from abuse. SAFEchild empowers the children and their families by providing counseling services and childcare. One important aspect of SAFEchild is a program they run called “Funny Tummy Feelings” which is a program that educates first-graders about noticing and appropriately handling child abuse when they see it or are subject to it. Funny Tummy Feelings has been implemented in the Wake County public school curriculum for first graders; however, the goal of this project is to expand Funny Tummy Feelings to the Strong Girls United program. 

Strong Girls United is a mentorship program for young girls which pairs collegiate athletes with elementary school girls and the groups meet to discuss confidence building, mental health, and new sports skills. I believe that Funny Tummy Feelings could also be a beneficial addition to the Strong Girls United curriculum. Unfortunately, rape and sexual abuse are pervasive parts of society, but one way to combat this is to educate about rape culture and the ways you can stand up to it and notice it before it escalates.

Connections to GSS:

This project will be focusing on providing children and mothers the skills needed to build confidence in response to child abuse and domestic violence. Confidence and mental resiliency begin at a young age, and if we can empower elementary school girls, we can empower an entire generation to put an end to domestic violence and child abuse. My research would overlap with several articles that we studied in class about feminism. In the article titled Committee on the Status of Women in India, the author discusses how marriage can become a “hindrance for women seeking career advancement” which demonstrates that a marriage with power imbalances is the basis for domestic violence and abuse of power. Betty Friedan talks in the Feminine Mystique that in the 1970’s, rape was not considered a penalty. Friedan also discusses the topic of women not being fulfilled simply by staying in the house, making beds, washing dishes, and cooking for the family, which relates to the lack of liberties that the woman has within a marriage. These hindrances that married women face are the basis for domestic violence and patriarchy. One notable quote from the Feminine Mystique is “when she stopped conforming to the conventional picture of femininity, she finally began to enjoy being a woman” (279). When women stop allowing their husbands to control and abuse them, they enjoyed being women. Additionally, bell hooks’ work called Feminism is for Everybody encourages the notion that equality is the goal of feminism, and the goal is not to subvert men. In relation to my book review on the book titled Medical Bondage, white male physicians were abusing enslaved women’s bodies by taking advantage of their position of power and conducting unsolicited gynecological research and painful experiments. The consequences of these experiments were destructive, both physically and mentally, for these women. The enslaved women’s experiences with the gynecological experiments parallel the domestic violence that women today face in abusive relationships. Abuse within a relationship affects the way a mother can parent a child, which demonstrates the vicious cycle of domestic violence at a young age starting with a lack of self-confidence, then getting wrapped up in abusive relationships, and to then raise kids in an environment filled with abuse and neglect. So, my goal for this project is to confront and help children notice domestic violence at a young age so that they can grow up to be confident people in healthy relationships. After doing an analysis on the film Moonlight in my writing class, it was brought to my attention that some abusive family dynamics are avoidable, while others are out of one’s control. In Moonlight, a young boy by the name of Chiron was being raised in an abusive and neglectful household because his mother was involved with dangerous drugs and did not have time for her child; however, the opportunities available for the mother to parent her child were lacking. While I’m doing my research, l will be sure to look at the context of the situation (what resources are available to the family?) versus judging the situation and the parenting choices. 

Limitations:

The limitation of this project is that Strong Girls United does not mention anything about transgender children, non-binary children, or gender-nonconforming children. This is a research question that l will be asking the SGU executive board in hopes that something is done to make the organization more inclusive of children of all gender identities. Part of feminism is creating equity across the genders, so this feminist project is aimed at creating equity for boys, girls, and gender non-conforming children. Overall, the goal of this project is to provide a form of mentorship for children seeking assistance with confidence, mental health training, and skills needed to confront abuse if they ever need to use them. 

Implementation of Plan: 

A few summers ago, my mom and l volunteered at SAFEchild and we babysat the children while their mothers were in a counseling meeting. I am hoping to resume my volunteering with SAFEchild by babysitting the children and then shadowing one of the leaders during the counseling meetings. I feel like I would gain another dimension of appreciation for the struggles that these families deal with by listening to the mothers speak. Also, it would be impactful to listen to the women’s stories of domestic abuse within their marriages and how this abuse impacts their ability to mother their children. 

After shadowing a counselor, l would ask one of the leaders/counselors at SAFEchild to be a guest speaker at one of the meetings with Strong Girls United. The counselor can focus on teaching a Funny Tummy Feelings course for the SGU children. The plan is to empower young girls by giving them to skills to notice and respond to child abuse in a confident way. One possibility of furthering my research experience would be to shadow a pediatric physiatrist to learn about the impacts of child abuse, neglect, and domestic violence on youth’s mental health.  

Feminist Mixtape: God is a Woman by Ariana Grande

by Chase Waldner

Ariana Grande Goes Heavy-Handed and Provocative in "God Is a Woman" | GQ

Pop icon Ariana Grande blessed us with a feminist masterpiece titled, “God is a Woman.” The title alone challenged many gendered stereotypes and the lyrics are a wonderful dive into female sexuality. Grande created something equally empowering as it is catchy. She reverses the patriarchal norm of male domination over women with lyrics like, “I’m tellin’ you the way I like it, how I want it,” and “And boy, if you confess, you might get blessed // See if you deserve what comes next.” Here, Grande is expressing the power she has over this man and how she is the one in control; something rare in heterosexual relationships. For most of history men have had all the power. They were the ones who owned property, and that sometimes included women. Nowadays, in the states at least, you can’t own a person but that power dynamic is still a festering pandemic lingering in our society. Women are supposed to be a submissive, pretty face. They are supposed to look good to attract a man and then stay home to raise their children. This translates to the bedroom as well. The expectation for heterosexual sex is male pleasure and fantasy, women are merely the vessel to achieve it. This is where Grande steps in to challenge the sexist norm and flip the script. She sings about female domination and pleasure; about women being the controlling force in both the bedroom and in life. She sings about the power she, along with all other women, have to take their deserved, rivaling spot in the fight for gender equality.

DRI Grant Proposal: Intersectional Feminism Workshop and Research Project

Prompt from DRI Application Directions 

Introduction: 

The purpose of this project is to study the types of feminism and their intersectionality that Davidson students identity with, as well as how a structured workshop impacts students’ feminisms. For the project, we would create an intersectional feminism workshop and survey students before and after they participate to gauge how their identification with and knowledge of intersectional feminism changed. There are two main objectives. The first is to have a greater understanding of the student body’s feminist views. The second is to create more space for inclusive feminist frameworks on our predominantly white campus. 

Justification: 

As a first-year student of color, I’ve already noticed that most of the feminisms from students are white and centered around issues of the west. They are also not all-encompassing of queer/trans feminists or feminists of color. A 2019 Davidsonian perspective article discusses the need for intersectional feminism, especially for women in STEM, and raises the question: is Davidson the most welcoming, inclusive place it can be for all women on campus? The author of the piece acknowledges that she doesn’t see the inequalities that others see on campus because she is a white cis woman, but even posing this question requires a look into how the campus’ environment fuels inequalities. 

This research project is also essential because it studies all students on campus, not just marginalized communities (students of color, queer/trans students, etc.). The campus places the burden on marginalized students to grapple with their own trauma or uncomfort through group therapy sessions, communal dinners, etc., rather than addressing attitudes that may be coming from the dominant culture. This workshop is one way to strike that notion.  

Furthermore, there is a handful of literature on the importance of dismantling privilege on PWIs and creating supportive spaces for students of color. Intersectionality and Dismantling Institutional Privilege: The case of the NSF ADVANCE Program suggests frameworks for dismantling race and gender-based institutional privileges. While the academy relies on eliteness, intersectional frameworks can minimize the effects of its violence.

Implementation: 

First, I would create a survey that assesses the types of feminisms with which students identify. Questions would include how students feel about different social, political, and economic issues. The survey would also address how they see feminism on Davidson’s campus. I would create a second survey for after the workshop that is similar to the first. This gauges how an interactive educational workshop can impact one’s feminism. 

Second, I would work with GSS professors to plan an intersectional feminism workshop that addresses different types of feminism, creating inclusive spaces as an individual, and why intersectionality is necessary at a PWI. 

I would advertise this workshop through flyers, GSS classes, and Sociology classes, as many students need to participate in research for their major requirements. 

Preparation: 

I am prepared to execute this research project for three reasons. 

First, although I’ve only taken GSS-101, I feel equipped to begin or expand conversations about types of feminism and the need for intersectionality. In GSS-101, we read works from many feminists, including Kimberlé Crenshaw who coined the term intersectionality. 

Second, in high school, I led an annual feminism workshop for my school. This is because I read a lot of feminist and queer theory including authors like bell hooks, Sara Ahmed, and Judith Butler. 

Third, during my senior year of high school, I executed a research project that was structured similar to this project. I surveyed local middle and high schoolers about their experience with menstrual stigma before and after presenting about menstrual stigma and global menstrual oppression.

Dissemination:

I’ll detail the findings of the research project in a report that is presented to the general Davidson community. This will provide faculty and students with an understanding of how inclusive the feminisms that Davidson students identity with, as well as if workshops are a practical means of making students’ feminisms more inclusive and intersectional.  

I would also present these findings to the Freshman Orientation Team to propose a similar workshop for incoming first-year students. This would help incoming freshmen begin to grapple with their privileges before beginning classes, contributing to a supportive environment on campus.  

I’d also share this report with other student groups at PWIs that may have similar questions about how supportive and inclusive their campuses are for marginalized communities. 

Example Survey Questions: 

  • Do you identify as a feminist? 
    • If so, how do you describe your feminism? 
    • If not, why not? 
  • Do you consider yourself an intersectional feminist? 
    • If so, how do you define intersectionality? 
    • If not, why not?
  • In your experience, is the Davidson community inclusive? 
    • If so, please provide examples.
    • If not, why not?
  • In your experience, do you see intersectionality on Davidson’s campus?
    • If so, please provide examples.  
  • In your experience, do you see feminism on Davidson’s campus? 
    • If so, please provide examples.  

Works Cited: 

Arday, Jason, and Heidi Safia Mirza, editors. Dismantling Race in Higher Education: Racism, Whiteness and Decolonising the Academy. 1 ed., Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2018. Link Springer, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-60261-5.

Crenshaw, Kimberlé. “Why intersectionality can’t wait.” The Washington Post, 24 September 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-theory/wp/2015/09/24/why-intersectionality-cant-wait/.

Helena. “Teaching Intersectionality: Activities and Resources.” DISORIENT, 2020, https://disorient.co/teaching-intersectionality-activity/. Accessed 22 November 2021.

Hickman, Ross. “Exclusion, Harm, and Disillusionment at Davidson.” Davidsonian, 10 November 2021, https://www.davidsonian.com/editorial-exclusion-harm-and-disillusionment-at-davidson/.

Hunt, Valerie H., et al. “Intersectionality and Dismantling Institutional Privilege: The Case of the NSF ADVANCE Program.” Race, Gender, & Class, vol. 19, no. 1/2, 2012, pp. 266-290. JSTOR, https://www.jstor.org/stable/43496873.

Stanton, Domna C., and Abigail J. Stewart, editors. Feminisms in the Academy. University of Michigan Press, 1995, https://www.press.umich.edu/10669/feminisms_in_the_academy.

Winters-Mccabe, Annabel. “Let’s Talk About Feminism On Our Campus Now.” Davidsonian, 3 October 2019, https://www.davidsonian.com/lets-talk-about-feminism-on-our-campus-now/.

“God is a Woman” by Ariana Grande

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHLHSlExFis

As Ariana says, “You’ll believe God is a woman” by the end of an intimate act. In her song, “God is a Woman”, Ariana emphasizes women empowerment and raises awareness to a topic that is frowned upon in society- woman finding pleasure in sexual relations. Ariana encourages female empowerment through lines such as “And I can tell that you know I know how I want it” and “I’m tellin’ you the way I like it, how I want it”. In doing so, Ariana sheds light on the idea of women placing their needs and desires above men, this way the act of intimacy shifts from being man-dominated to woman-dominated. These lyrics emphasize the importance of women openly speaking about their sexual desires and reclaiming their bodily autonomy. 

This idea of being confident in speaking about sexual desires relates to Foucault connections between knowledge and pleasure, and how sex is just not supposed to be a learning experience, but also an opportunity to teach us something about ourselves. There is an urge to know something from sex and pleasure, but there is still the paradox of the sex talk where sex is silenced, yet we still talk about it explicitly and incessantly. Ariana paves the way for women to skip the act of silence and feel confident in speaking about their needs in a sexual relation. 

However, it is important to note there are limitations that exist in how gender plays a role in her song. Ariana references intimacy in a relationship between a male and female both in the song and the music video. For example she sings, “And he sees the universe when I’m the company.” With the usage of the pronoun, “he,” Ariana excludes homosexual relationships. Also, the exclusion of queer relationships does not address other women’s sexual experience, such as those who are transgender and lesbian.

Despite this, “God is a Woman” by Ariana Grande encourages female sexual liberation and celebrates female pleasure. 

Feminist Mix-Tape: “Kings and Queens” by Ava Max

Image of Ava Max on a throne from the music video for her song “Kings and Queens”

The song “Kings and Queens” by Amanda Ava Koci, known better as Ava Max professionally, is a feminist song of empowerment. Max compares the positions of kings and queens and how they are differently perceived by society. She points out the inequalities and expectations of women compared to men. In addition, she sings that women are much more capable of things than men. Women can rule and lead others, control their emotions unlike many think as a result of stereotypes, and give birth. Women are strong and amazing and Max makes sure that this is known to the listener with her analogy containing royalty. 

Continue reading “Feminist Mix-Tape: “Kings and Queens” by Ava Max”

Feminist Mixtape: “What A Girl Is”

Dove Cameron singing “What A Girl Is” in the episode “Rate-A-Rooney.”

I had been trying to think of a song for the mixtape and suddenly this bop started playing in my head on repeat. I love Disney Channel shows but I know that Disney is highly problematic in its representation of women and marginalised people, so when Dove Cameron sang this bop back in 2015 I was very pleasantly surprised.

On the Disney Channel show “Liv & Maddie,” on the episode “Rate-A-Rooney,” a group of guys had been rating girls, giving them numbers on their appearances. Protagonist Dove Cameron sings “What A Girl Is” in response to their comments.

“On a scale from 1 to 10/I am perfect like I am/I don’t need your number”

This is Dove Cameron’s response to the rankings of the men. She expresses that she determines her beauty, that beauty is something internal and personal, not determined by others.

“And these stupid magazines/Want me to change my everything/They don’t even matter/They’re not taking my power”

Magazines nowadays feature and promote impossible beauty standards for women. Like Jean Kilbourne mentioned in her TED Talk “Killing Us Softly,” “the image of women in media is worse than ever” and puts unnecessary pressure on women to look thin and young. These lyrics convey that women’s diversity and uniqueness is their power and they shouldn’t try to conform to what magazines and the outside world deem ‘beautiful.’ These lyrics also reminded of a quote in Feminine Mystique: “When she stopped conforming to the conventional picture of femininity she finally began to enjoy being a woman” (Friedan 279) which is similar in mindset since Dove Cameron is singing about not conforming to the standards for femininity.

“I’ll show you what a girl is/’Cause all of me is perfect/Who cares about a dress size?/It’s all about what’s inside”

As Jen Baker said in her TED Talk “Complete and Total Body Love,” happiness is not a number on the scale or a size, it’s a state of mind where we say “I’m okay just the way I am.” This is exactly the message being passed on through the first few lines of the chorus.

While Disney has a long way to go regarding its diversity and inclusion in TV and films (with TV taking steps forward a tad faster than the films) this song of female empowerment and independence, even though it is sang by a white cishet actress, is certainly a step in the right direction.