Ever since my lunchbox carrying days of 1998, I have been a diehard Spice Girls fan. Back at the ripe old age of 5, if you wanted to be my lover, you had to get with my friends. I had the hair scruchies, the dolls, the lollipops and the posters. Who needed boys when you had your 4 best friends and you were English and could sing?
Now that I’m 20 and all of the Spice Girls have gone on to be mothers and fashionistas (Victoria, let me in on your secrets), I’ve been waiting for that young pop girl group to come back around, and remind me that I can kick ass all on my own cause boys still have cooties. I tried getting into The Saturdays, but I couldn’t connect on an age level. I needed girls my age doing bad all by themselves.
Enter Little Mix: Jade Thirlwall (20), Jesy Nelson (22), Perrie Edwards (20) and Leigh-Anne Pinnock (21).
These 4 British beauties became the first group to have won the UK’s X Factor in 2011, and they’ve been slowly taking the world by storm in a frenzy of girl power that’s all too familiar for a fan like me. I was reluctant at first. Before listening to them I had discredited their talent for being a product of a reality show. I thought they were going to go the way of irrelevancy after their first single, but once I heard them sing, I ate my words. Once I really read their lyrics, I regretted even having such a thought.
Their emergence into the music scene is so important at a time like now, where pop music by women is discredited for being “too emotional” or “empty.” Or worse, over-sexualized or simply deemed “slutty.” For someone who has worked in a clothing store for young, teenage girls, some of the music I hear daily is really sending the wrong message. I’ve cringed during my shift at some of the things played for entertainment value. Granted, there’s a difference between acknowledging a song for being problematic, and not caring what it has to say. But when I was 11-16 years old, I wasn’t too concerned with problematic. I only listened to it if it was angsty, or if I could shake my ass to it. I definitely internalized lyrics back then that I really shouldn’t have, and I’ve had to learn where the distinction lies. With the influence that music and pop culture has on the throat of society now, it’s more important for young girls to know where to draw the line.
But that’s not the case with Little Mix. They’re body positive, pro-self and against bullying, and completely pro-independence and not getting tied down by a relationship. I wish I could make my store play them all of the time, but during the moments they do, I make sure everyone knows Little Mix’s name.
Aside from the super positive messages they set out to send, they’ve actually got some truly raw, amazing talent. Having seen them live, I don’t think there’s a video on the Internet that does them the justice they deserve. More so, having met them in person, their humbleness is far from an act. These girls were given the spotlight, and they’re thankful for every second. They aren’t squandering their celebrity in favor of being negative.
Fresh off of a trip from Japan, the girls just released a new single called “Move,” and are releasing a quality make-up line; with each girl designing their own package of makeup they themselves wear. My hope is to see them touring the States come Spring 2014, but that can only start if they get the recognition they deserve. So go out and start listening to Little Mix! You can thank me later.