The Blog

'It's Hard Out Here for a B***h' - Why We Should Support Lily Allen

Despite the empowering message of the song, the video forhas received a lot of criticism, particularly for it's supposedly racist undertones. However, I completely support Allen in what she is trying to achieve, and I wish that others - particularly women - would do the same.

This week, the music video for Lily Allen's first new single since 2009, Hard Out Here, was released. The video, a satire on the objectification of women, has been viewed on YouTube over two million times in two days, and the hype surrounding it shows no sign of slowing down. Feminist issues have been put in the media spotlight recently, particularly within the music industry; who can forget the recent criticism of Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines, and the backlash over Miley Cyrus' fondness for twerking?

Despite the empowering message of the song, the video for Hard Out Here has received a lot of criticism, particularly for it's supposedly racist undertones. However, I completely support Allen in what she is trying to achieve, and I wish that others - particularly women - would do the same.

In the video, the message Allen is trying to send is clear. We are worth more than our appearance and our bodies, we should be proud of who we are, and we shouldn't be letting anyone tell us otherwise. This is a message that goes unnoticed all too often in the media, where a woman is a lot more likely to be celebrated for her figure than her talents (often through no fault of her own), and any woman who is trying to go against this should be celebrated.

It's a sad fact that we live in a society where women can never win. If we wear revealing clothes, we are criticised. If we stay covered up, we are criticised. If we talk openly about our sex lives, we are criticised. If we prefer to keep it private, yet again, we are criticised. That is why I am a firm believer that we, as women, should support each other. After all, the idea of the sisterhood is at the core of feminism, and if we don't support and respect one another, how can we expect anyone else to?

It's true, Allen's video is not everyone's idea of feminist perfection. Yes, she is fully clothed whilst the dancers are not. Yes, the majority of the dancers are from ethnic minorities. However, if she were just wearing a bikini in the video, she would have been criticised for using her body to sell records. And if she had only used white dancers, the video would still have been labelled 'racist'. In reality, nothing is perfect, and this does extend to feminist media, and feminists themselves. For example, I am slightly ashamed to admit that I probably wouldn't leave the house without make up on. Does this make me any less of a feminist? Or make what I have to say on feminism any less relevant? Not at all.

What we should be doing is celebrating the fact that Lily Allen is making an effort to change the message that women are fed by the media every day. Rather than point out what she has done wrong, we should be recognising what she has done right. And the fact is that, in terms of empowering women, she has done a lot more than many other musicians have. So let's stop pointing out all the flaws, and give her the credit she deserves.

It's hard out here for a bitch. Let's not make it any harder.