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Blog Gultom 9

I really liked the second Music and Beauty presentation which showed that topics like body positivity and the concept of body images were prevalent in music and by making songs about them, artists bring a whole new awareness and understanding to the table. It’s feel-good music that’s supposed to encourage listeners to love their bodies and be comfortable in their own skin. The two entries in this playlist were “Beautiful” by Linda Perry and performed by Christina Aguilera, and “Scars to Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara. The former came out at a time when Internet bullying and body shaming was rampant and the latter was performed at the “Life is Beautiful Fest” in remembrance of the girls who lost themselves within the ever-changing beauty standards of society and to remind them that they are perfect just the way they are.

If I had to write about this topic, I’d choose “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from the Little Mermaid (sung by Pat Carroll) and “21st Century Girl” by BTS. The songs in the actual presentation, while accurate to the topic, feel like common choices that cover the more positive aspects of body image and beauty. I wanted songs that felt like they could tie in altogether in some sort of “narrative.” “Poor Unfortunate Souls” is a great first example of a “villain” in this “narrative,” starting the playlist off with bad body standards and horrible stereotypes that typically plague women. Ursula tells Ariel that she’s helped people get thinner and become more beautiful in order to get their happy endings. Once she agrees to have Ursula’s assistance, Ariel is bombarded by “advice” that will help her keep the prince’s attention and that losing her voice is actually supposed to be helpful in the end. I also included “21st Century Girl” because unlike the others, this is a woman’s empowerment song sung by men! It isn’t that novel a concept, male artists singing about women’s beauty standards and how they suck, but this was the first one of these that I had heard of.

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July 2024

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