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in brief: lily allen’s new song tells it like it is

This week, Lily Allen released her latest song, Hard Out Here, and it’s really got everyone talking. Not only is it a scathing criticism of objectification and misogyny in popular culture, but it’s also a feminist pop anthem that totally blows Britney’s Work Bitch out of the water.

In keeping with Allen’s signature lyrical candour, sung in her sweet voice, Hard Out Here deals with issues such as sexualisation of women, slut-shaming, body-policing, the glass ceiling and more, with the central message: ‘it’s hard out here for a bitch.’

But it is the song’s clip that really brings it home as a feminist critique of contemporary pop. In similar fashion to Pink’s Stupid Girls, the clip features Allen on an operating table getting liposuction, amidst comments from her manager that she has ‘let herself go’ and ‘lacks self discipline,’ a critical nod to the kind of discourses about women’s bodies that abound in sexualised mass culture.

Allen also weighs in on the Robin Thicke/Miley Cyrus saga, not only (satirically) expropriating ratchet culture and accessorising with black women, twerking, licking a beats pill and engaging in shameless product placement, but appearing in front of balloons that read ‘LILLY ALLEN HAS A BAGGY PUSSY’ ala Robin Thicke (has a big dick).

However, not everyone is sold on Allen’s new hit, with some claiming that it is racist in that it perpetuates the very objectification of black women that it is intending to satirise.

What do you think of Lily Allen’s new song? Are you a fan? Why/why not?


One thought on “in brief: lily allen’s new song tells it like it is

  1. Honestly, these people have said it better than I could:

    I think the whole purpose of satire is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted and Allen has fallen short. She may say she’s satirising this culture, but she’s still also using black women as props. And some of those lyrics don’t really read as all that feminist to me:
    “I won’t be braggin’ ’bout my cars, or talkin’ ’bout my chains
    Don’t need to shake my ass for you ‘cuz I got a brain.”

    So … women who engage in sex work don’t have brains? Or, even, women who like to dance don’t have brains?

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