Girl bands are back. I just thought I’d give you guys the heads up in case you ever wanted to create one because now is definitely the time. I’m aware I’m sounding a bit Louis Walsh circa 2011 X Factor, but it’s true. An article for Billboard magazine written almost exactly a year ago was asking why girl bands like Little Mix and Fifth Harmony weren’t getting much radio play. However, with ‘Black Magic’ and ‘Work From Home’ both having dominated the radio since then, I think it’s fair to say that problem is no longer.
Why the sudden surge in popularity? Is it to fill the gaping hole One Direction and their poppy tunes has left? Perhaps it’s the natural order that as the number of boy bands falls, the popularity of the girl bands rises? Maybe. But I think it’s more than that. Girl groups have always tended to be ‘sexed up’ by managers (cough pussycat dolls cough), yet this new era of girl bands seem to be in control of what they’re doing. Any outfits or dance moves your grandma may call ‘risqué’ are a statement of their own sexuality and body positivity. When Little Mix was criticised over having ‘sexy’ tour outfits, their response had my inner feminist cry for joy. Member Perrie Edwards said “We need to encourage each other and if you don’t want to have your body out then you don’t have to. I never used to want to get my figure out, but now I’m like, ‘Yes, here it is’.” It’s about helping fans become more confident in themselves, getting to see their icons owning their own bodies.
Girl bands have always meant girl power. Just look at the Spice Girls. Yet there were always rumours of Spice Girl feuds, particularly when Geri left, and then the fights in Girls Aloud and Pussycat Dolls were often splashed around the media. One thing girl power is definitely not is trying to bring down other girls, which Little Mix show expertly. They’re constantly complimenting each other, and in any interview you read, the interviewer always seems to say how genuine they’re friendship is. Just one example was when Kerry Potter spoke to them for You magazine, and she said that when interviewing girl bands there’s usually ‘palpable tension in the room’, but ‘there’s none of that here’. Considering they usually stand holding hands together on the red carpet, their sisterhood seems pretty legit – I love it.
Girl power isn’t just in their actions, it’s in their lyrics as well. ‘Salute’ is a feminist anthem with songs like ‘Little Me’ and ‘Change Your Life’ also inspiring their fans to embrace who they are. ‘BOSS’ by Fifth Harmony has the same message as well. ‘Girl’ by Destiny’s Child meant so much to me in my childhood, being the first song I’d heard about the importance of female friendship and empowerment. This means I’m so glad that the rebirth of girl groups is offering little girls like me the same inspiration.
Little Mix and Fifth Harmony have pretty much dominated this article (which seems fitting considering they’re dominating the world), and they’re definitely the ones leading the way. All I can hope is that more will follow.
Article by Jenifer Richards