Iconic former Eurythmics singer and solo artist Annie Lennox recently criticized Beyonce in an interview, and what Annie calls “Feminism Lite.”
Lennox, long known as a champion for HIV/AIDS research and an outspoken activist and advocate for human rights and women’s causes, took on the topic during an interview with PrideSource while promoting her newest solo release Nostalgia. While on the subject, Annie was asked how she felt about Beyonce’s particular brand of feminist empowerment, specifically the “Run the World” singer’s feminst-centric appearance on the MTV Video Music Awards.
“It’s tokenistic to me. I mean, I think she’s a phenomenal artist — I just love her performances — but I’d like to sit down (with her)”, Lennox said. “I think I’d like to sit down with quite a few artists and talk to them. I’d like to listen to them; I’d like to hear what they truly think.”
Annie expressed that feminism has become something among pop stars that, in her opinion, is used for personal gain and mainly as a promotional tool more than anything.
“I think for many it’s very convenient and it looks great and it looks radical, but I have some issues with it”, Lennox stated. “What they do with it is cheap and… yeah. What can I tell you? Sex always sell. And there’s nothing wrong with sex selling, but it depends on your audience. If they’re 7-year-old kids, I have issues with it.”
Lennox said she believes there are preconceived notions attached to the word in today’s society, saying that “some women, many women, still have issues with the word and almost distance themselves from it because they’re afraid it’s synonymous with hating men.”
Annie Lennox’s opinions on Beyonce and the state of feminism as a marketing tool aren’t all that shocking, considering the singer’s longtime passion for activism and her years advocating women’s rights. In fact, this isn’t the first time Annie has spoken out against overt sexuality in music. Lennox made news when she commented via Facebook on Miley Cyrus’ infamous twerk-filled VMA performance.
“I have to say that I’m disturbed and dismayed by the recent spate of overtly sexualized performances and videos. You know the ones I’m talking about. It seems obvious that certain record companies are peddling highly styled pornography with musical accompaniment,” Annie stated.
“As if the tidal wave of sexualized imagery wasn’t already bombarding impressionable young girls enough… I believe in freedom of speech and expression, but the market forces don’t give a toss about the notion of boundaries,” she said. Lennox has been a long time opponent of the “sex sells” mentality in the music industry.
Annie Lennox’s Nostalgia is an album of covers from the artist’s childhood. The album, which is the sixth solo release from Lennox, will be released on October 21. The album marks Annie’s first since 2010.