I’m posting this in conversation with an earlier post, not because I necessarily find fault with it, but because I think the author here has a very interesting point to make about the potential limitations about Lily Allen’s expression.
The end of Allen’s four-year hiatus is marked by a new single and matching video that meditates on Allen’s image issues only to project them onto men and women of color. Naturally it’s being hailed as a “scathing critique of misogyny.”…Allen’s first solo single since 2009 manages to scapegoat not just rappers but black women for all the insecurities she’s been grappling with over her career. The song begins with her scoffing at what is meant to look like a rap video complete with women of color body rolling in shorts. She then begins, “You’ll find me in the studio and not in the kitchen/I won’t be bragging ’bout my cars or talking ’bout my chains.” The elite prep school educated daughter of an actor and film producer finds such conspicuous consumption distasteful…Hard Out Here” is the opposite of Mileywave. Instead of using black women as props to further her career, Allen blames them for its stagnation. In full-sleeved dresses Allen mocks her inability to twerk amidst women of color in body suits who launch into exaggerated dance moves, licking their hands and then rubbing their crotch. Her older white male manager tries to get to her to mimic them. Meanwhile she sings, “Don’t need to shake my ass for you/‘Cause I’ve got a brain.” Cut to black women shaking their ass, so much for sisterly solidarity.
So what do you all think? Is the author accurate, and if so does that limit the power of Allen’s message?