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#FLAWLESS

Music feeds us love, Shakespeare was right about that. But the kind of love it feeds us is more often than not romantic love, broken hearted love or even plain old sex. ‘Come here/ Rude boy, boy/ Is you big enough’ springs to mind. Oh, the lyrical ingenuity.

But what about self-love? Or any kind of female-centric or platonic love?

I set out making this playlist for a friend who self-diagnosed herself as needing her sass back. I wanted her to love herself again and remember all the reasons why being a woman is the best. So I made it my mission to create the ultimate, feel-good feminist playlist.

At first it was just Beyoncé, Beyoncé, Beyoncé but slowly I started to unearth and remember all sorts of great tracks. From cheesy pop to obscure gems. Songs with up front messages and others that just make you feel good without a hint of an agenda. What’s feminism if it’s not about making people feel fabulous and powerful?!

Listen to them in the shower and wiggle and jiggle. Dance to them while you’re getting in the mood for a good night out. Wake up to them in the morning and get yourself ready for whatever the day might bring. Swish your hair, and celebrate being part of the sisterhood. These songs are medicine for your ears.

BEYONCE – ***FLAWLESS ft. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

When I first watched Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TEDTALK We Should All Be Feminists I couldn’t stop talking about it and telling everyone to go get themselves online and watch it. So imagine my absolute pure joy when I listened to Flawless. Chimamanda and Beyoncé; what more could you want from life? I will forever love Bey for bringing feminism to the masses.

DESTINY’S CHILD – SURVIVOR

LILY ALLEN – HARD OUT HERE

NINA SIMONE – FEELING GOOD

SHANIA TWAIN – THAT DON’T IMPRESS ME MUCH

CYNDI LAUPER – GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN

PALOMA FAITH – UPSIDE DOWN

BEYONCE – RUN THE WORLD (GIRLS)

P. J. HARVEY – SHEELA-NA-GIG

I can’t remember how I discovered P. J. Harvey but I’m eternally grateful that I did. Sheela Na Gig was the first song I ever heard by her and it was love at first sound. Listen to it, love it and wash that man right out of your hair!

CHRISTINA AGUILERA – CAN’T HOLD US DOWN

I was impressed to learn that Can’t Hold us Down was released in 2002. Obviously we see the noughties as being relatively recent and enlightened, but the reality is back then was very much an era where feminism was seen as entirely uncool. According to Wikipedia music critics didn’t think much of these lyrics.

Musically, I agree, this song is probably not the best but lyrically it’s a goldmine. Christina tells us to ‘shout loud/Letting them know we’re gonna stand our ground/ Lift your hands high and wave them proud.’ I don’t know what the critics were on but it makes me feel ready to fight my fight.

GRACE – YOU DON’T OWN ME ft. G-EAZY

KATE BUSH – RUBBERBAND GIRL

Because who wouldn’t want to bounce back like a rubber band? This is definitely one of Kate’s most bizarre songs, and that’s precisely why I love it.

FLORENCE + THE MACHINE – DOG DAYS ARE OVER

ADELE – ROLLING IN THE DEEP

MARIAH, BEYONCE, RIHANNA + MORE – JUST STAND UP!

BODY OF MY OWN – CHARLI XCX

A song about wanking. What more could you want? We all do it but somehow, even though it’s alright when men do it, there’s still that taboo about female masturbation. Proof enough that sexism is far from being dead. But this song breaks through that barrier and talks about the shit no one else does.

LORDE – YELLOW FLICKER BEAT

FLEETWOOD MAC- GOLD DUST WOMAN

THE CARPENTERS – TOP OF THE WORLD

LORDE – ROYALS

ARETHA FRANKLIN – RESPECT

SPICE GIRLS – WANNABE

Like so many other women my age, it was the Spice Girls who first taught me about girl power. They were my first love. I had the lunchbox, the posters and a bit of a crush on Geri Halliwell. Hello, even five year olds weren’t immune to that Union Jack dress. I wore my long blonde hair in pigtails Baby Spice style and knew all the songs off by heart. They taught me so much about being a woman and respecting myself and all the other women in my life too. Unfortunately for my mum, this did result in me screeching ‘Mama I love you’ at her far too often but the thought was there.

LESLEY GORE – YOU DON’T OWN ME

LILY ALLEN – FUCK YOU

LIANNE LA HAVAS – UNSTOPPABLE

LITTLE MIX – SALUTE

LA ROUX – BULLETPROOF

KATE NASH – FOUNDATIONS

JONI MITCHELL – TWISTED

This one has nothing to do with feminism but you’ve got to love Joni.

CAROLE KING – BEAUTIFUL

ALICIA KEYES – GIRL ON FIRE

DESTINY’S CHILD – BOOTYLICIOUS

DESTINY’S CHILD – INDEPENDENT WOMAN

WANDA JACKSON – HARD HEADED WOMAN

 

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