Gender equality has been an on-going issue since the 1990s. In fact, it has been documented in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as one of the worldwide concerns to be tackled. This is also why the 8th of March has been celebrated as the World Women’s Day to to appreciate the contributions of women towards the world.
Women empowerment is important to unite the ladies and boost their confidence. Here are some Girls’ Power songs that talk about social norms, gender inequality and to uplift your inner power!
Run the World (Girls)
You couldn’t talk about powerful songs without mentioning our Queen Bey! She is indeed an icon that sparks confidence and power for many generations. This robust anthem is just the choice when you need a boost of confidence or just to shout out.
Speechless is an iconic song from the Disney movie Aladdin. It is an ultimately new and brave addition to the live-action film. This song resonated with the inner feelings of Princess Jasmine which is absent in the animated movie. In the 1992 version, Princess Jasmine was not given her own solo song nor an active role to voice out her opinion. Thus, in contrast to it, Princess Jasmine manages to find her voice and stands for herself in the new movie despite being silenced and underestimated by the men. Naomi Scott has done a wonderful job of portraying the latest princess role. Her performance of this song and portrayal of Princess Jasmine gives us a new perspective on strong women.
Fight Song is really Rachel Platten’s fight song after being rejected by the music industry for a decade. This song rings determination, authentic and power. It is like a last motivational speech or a love letter for everyone who’s about to give up. Fight Song is an indestructible anthem filled with strength, energy and support that inspires people to fight their problems and illnesses.
Girls is a collaborative song by Rainie Yang and Cyndi Wang. They are both Taiwanese singers best known as their nicknames “Cute Lord” and “Sweet Lord”. This song is released in Rainie’s latest studio album “Like a Star”. It is a lively and upbeat song that spreads positivity and hope to the world, especially girls. In this song, they talk about self love, social norms and gender inequality. Although both of them have sweet and soft voices, the strong beats do not overpower their voices, instead it compliments them. Moreover, it is a great contrast to Rainie’s change of tone rap in the song where she uses a more low and deep tone. In short, Girls is a sweet yet meaningful song.
Jolin Tsai is a multi-talent Taiwanese artist and an icon. Basically, she is a singer, songwriter, dancer, actress and businesswoman. Ugly Beauty is a song about her personal growth where she used to restrict herself to meet the public’s expectations. Her music video is interesting in a way that it started off with a court scene where she is charged for not meeting the society’s beauty standard. Reflecting on the social norms, she urges girls to stop listening to others and start to stand for themselves. In fact, this song is also a resonation of her current mentality where she finally found the courage to throw away the labels and live how she wants.
G.E.M is a talented singer-songwriter from Hong Kong. She is best known for her wide vocal range; from high key to deep tone. Not to mention her amazing song writing and rapping skills. Miss Similar is the song which showcases all her skills. Incorporating her powerful rap and beautiful vocals, this song encourages girls to be themselves. It also reflects on the reality where girls conform to social norms to meet people’s expectations by dieting and restricting themselves.
I am the best
Released in 2011, I am the best is still one of the best electronic girl power K-pop songs. Formed by YG entertainment, 2ne1 has been the most influential girl group in the 2010s with hits like Come Back Home and Lonely. I am the best is a strong and empowerment anthem produced with the elements of electronic, hip hop and instrumentations of synthesizers. The music video itself showcases the confidence of 2ne1 to the maximum along with the strong beats.
Mamamoo is a South Korean girl group formed by RBW entertainment. They are best known for their authenticity, loudness and just being themselves. Due to their styles that go against the stereotypical K-pop idol’s type, they often received criticisms and hatred as well as praise. Hip is a swag and powerful track that diss back the criticisms. The whole song is loaded with meanings that showcases Mamamoo’s daring and fearless attitude. Significantly, Hwasa and Moonbyul portray a president and a director in the music video which also reflects on women taking up a higher position and role.
Known as the “Queen of K-pop”, BoA is undoubtedly the diva of the K-pop industry. Woman, released in 2018, is a song that witnesses her personal growth. This song is a groovy dance track with rhythmic bass that complement her vocals. The beats that are heard throughout the song emulates the sound of the heels clicking. It is a powerful song with a strong message about finding one’s definition of beauty instead of the beauty standard being imposed by society.
In this realistic world, women are often judge by their figures and appearances. However, we shouldn’t lose our confidence and punish ourselves just because of society’s criticisms. Remember, the society does not define us, we are the one in charge of ourselves!
“It took 9 months to form our heart so no one can break it in an instance”, so always love yourself and stand up for what you believe is correct.
Written by Choong Hui Ying