Charli XCX’s Documentary On Feminism In Pop Music: ‘The F Word And Me’
Twenty-three-year-old British singer and songwriter Charli XCX became an internationally known name when she was featured on two popular songs, Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” and Icona Pop’s “I Love It,” in 2013 and 2014. During the last few years, the ideals of feminism have become more passionately voiced and valued, not only in movies and television, but within popular music as well. This is something that Charli XCX has been passionate about as well, so much so that the young singer recently joined together with the BBC to premiere a documentary which debuted this past Tuesday, called The F Word and Me. The doc features Charli interviewing a number of artists during her tour for her 2014 album Sucker, in an attempt to “find out what feminism really means and to see if girls are finally ruling the world.”
“Female musicians are still in the minority. I think it’s important to stand up and be counted, and there are plenty of other women here who feel the same way.”
i feel like the question ‘whats it like to be a woman in the music industry’ is annoying/complex but still necessary. this doc explores that
— CHARLI XCX (@charli_xcx) November 20, 2015
Charli XCX states that there is still a lack of female talent in the music industry and that this is something that needs to change. During the nearly 45-minute documentary, the singer discusses her own personal views on feminism and what it means to her, while also talking to other women in the industry about their views and experiences.
Marina and the Diamonds, the Welsh singer and songwriter, is asked about being called a “sellout.” Liz — a Los Angeles-based singer, who collaborated with Pharrell Williams for the song “That’s My Man” which appeared on The Amazing Spider-Man 2 soundtrack — talks about her frustrations in trying to explain her style to men who don’t understand it and regulate most of the imagery associated with major pop artists. According to MTV News, Charli had conversations with Ryn Weaver, Bleachers’ Jack Antonoff, and more.
“It’s quite funny when you try to explain what you want to do in your style and a lot of men don’t get it but the girls love it,” says Liz. “They should just listen to us because we know.”
Charli XCX mentions a moment in her career in which she discovered, through market research, that people are intimidated by her. She also points out a humiliating period, one that countless women in Hollywood have had to put up with, dealing with the media snagging a “crotch shot” of her during her performance at Glastonbury earlier this year. The “Boom Clap” singer points out how the exposure of feminism has changed the way so many women and young girls talk about it. Noting huge artists like Beyoncé as perfect examples.
“Young kids now are being blasted with what feminism is because Beyoncé’s standing in front of a massive screen that says feminism on it and that’s great,” says Charli. “Because when I was younger, I wasn’t conscious of that at all. I was just like, Yeah, Britney!”
Other female artists in pop music, such as Lana Del Rey, have been criticized for their portrayal of women and love in their music videos. In the documentary, Charli XCX also went into detail about Rihanna’s controversial music video for her single “B**** Better Have My Money,” co-directed by MegaForce and Rihanna. According to Rolling Stone, the singer does not agree with the criticism the provocative video received.
“I know lots of people have had a big problem with this video, and the use of violence against women in pop videos can feel really disturbing, but I think this film speaks to a bigger story. Rihanna is dismantling society’s idea of what a pop star should be, i.e. perfect, polished and usually white … It’s a revenge fantasy, it’s a beautiful piece of art, but it’s also a powerful statement of intent: You can’t push me around, and you can’t make me be what I want. I make my own decisions, good and bad, and to me, that’s what feminism is all about.”
[Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for boohoo]