As a female artist, you’re sometimes made to feel like your entire worth is your appearance. But we’re here to tell you that you don’t need to subscribe to unrealistic beauty standards, or use your looks to advance your career.
In an industry that’s already a meat market, we need to value ourselves as much as possible, and not fall into the traps of objectifying ourselves for the sake of male fans and producers. Nipping that in the bud will lead to a bright road of opportunities in the form of partnerships, but going in the wrong direction can open the door to dismal and even dangerous situations.
Market yourself based on pure talent and thrive off that confidence. Then again, we all have a strong idea of what we want our image to be, and if yours screams sensuality, do you! Maybe you’re doing it because it’s your brand of confidence and fiery sass. Or maybe you’re mindfully showing your body to send a feminist message.
Rapper Nitty Scott made a more conscious transition to sexier looks, and got her fair share of flack about it on social media. However, her clapbacks to the haters who said Nitty stopped being a “real” musician proved her self awareness. She explained that her new style was essentially a celebration of self that no one had any right to look down on or insert their two cents about.
We’re not here to slut shame, and are all for women embracing their mojo - just make sure you’re doing it for you, and not to make anyone else happy. Know that this is not the only way to succeed, even though it might seem tempting as a fast short-cut, or a road to validation.
Instead of posting a row of booty selfies in Calvin Klein, try focusing on developing a style that’s more challenging than saucy skin post. And if you are feeling yourself one day with a more intimate look, let your freak flag fly!
Artists like Lady Leshurr and Leikeli47 talk about their refusal to abide by the laws of “sex sells”. Neither incorporate their sexuality in their music or social media. Leshurr focuses on her swag streetwear and music video style as well as LGBT aspects of her lifestyle. Artists like Leikeli47 cover their face and utilize ski masks, refusing to let the media degrade or judge her.
You can even incorporate lyrics in your music that tackle your appearance head on, whether that’s justifying blatant sexuality or a more conservative route.
When intentionally or unintentionally setting up thirst traps alongside your music, you open the door to online harassment. No one is bulletproof, and lots of misogynistic trolls are known to come out of the woodwork, in this era. You can go Xena Warrior Princess on them and take the flack without fear, but even the strongest warriors feel their hits, sometimes.
Try to focus on what you’re most proud of within yourself, outside of your appearance. Let your musical identity and style flourish rather than reducing it to what your momma gave you!