Woman Crush Month is a month-long series by the girls of She Did What She Wanted
in celebration of Women’s History Month.
By Kelsey Fredricks
Christina Aguilera has not only taught me how to mold misery into happiness, she has convinced me to trust the voice within—that with God by my side and my own instinctual pathways, I am capable of restoring a love I once had for myself. Christina’s sultry, powerful voice makes me truly believe I am once again in control of my purpose—that there is no way I could ever succumb to immature insults again, and tear to shreds what makes me unique. Every person is special in his or her own way, and Christina has the power to lead lost people to this universal conclusion, no matter how strayed they are from contentment in their individual selves.
In fifth grade, I joined my childhood best friends, Amanda and Kayla, to sing one of Christina’s more popular ballads, “Beautiful,” from her 2002 album Stripped. We decided I would take on the bridge, and so I did with all my might. I may not be able to belt soulful streaks of gold like Christina, but I did feel empowered that night. I vividly remember returning to my designated seat in the back of the auditorium after our performance; we were applauded by some boys in the grade above us, and my cheeks had never been such a crimson tint. I was not blushing because of the boys’ compliments, but because I had just defied all the negativity I stored in myself. For the rest of that night, I did not feel insecure, and I did not compare myself to other girls. I was amazed by my ability to present my polished performance to the world, even if it was just an audience of 250 people who probably did not even remember our names when we exited the stage. Still, I felt empowered. I feel empowered. I am powerful, which Christina has more than helped me to realize; I still get chills when I listen to her songs, which never feel overplayed or seem redundant to me. Some inspired celebrities and fans have deemed Christina to be the voice of a generation, which is a title I could never dispute.
Christina has not only inspired me, she has encouraged waves of women to find radiance in their currents, and not be afraid to make splashes in the slim acceptability of society. Her song, “Can’t Hold Us Down”, exhilarates women and inspires them to isolate themselves from controlling men: “Thinking all women should be seen not heard, so what do we do girls? Shout out loud.” In this lyric, Christina is letting women know that they should never feel victimized in their own flesh; she does not want women to feel inferior to men, and she especially does not want men to think it is okay to be demeaning towards women.
While Christina has experimented with different sounds with each of her albums, her persistence in revealing the still-existent ways of oppression cannot be eluded. Christina not only points out error in the misconception that men are superior to women, she also lets women know it is not okay to drag other women down out of spite, jealousy, or whatever the inexcusable reason may be. In her song, “Still Dirrty,” Christina did not just revamp her earlier pop hit, “Dirrty,” she included shocking lyrics—by societal standards—to intensify just how debilitating this issue is, which include: “Why is a woman’s sexuality always under so much scrutiny? Why can’t she do exactly as she please without being called a million things?” Christina is bringing to light her concern that women are unable to express themselves the way men are. I personally believe some of these lyrics were written the way they are to poke fun at society’s prejudgment of women who embrace their sexuality and are clearly self-confident. It is allegedly inappropriate for women to behave in erratic manners, but when men do it is just “boys being boys,” as the far too popular saying goes to justify actions. I appreciate Christina for not being afraid to defend women who have been scrutinized, herself included, for being deemed too scandalous for the public eye. This song may be deemed immoral to some, but its ethical angle is not any worse than what society has burdened on the gender with breasts.
Christina’s protection of the actuality of feminism is not to lessen the male position in society: it is to make clear that men and women are equal, and that women should no longer be deemed inferior. She wants women to always feel empowered and hopefully one day feel content with their individual beings as a whole. Christina’s music is not just something I blast in the car on my hour-long commute to school: each ballad and pop hit is the melody I hum whenever I feel insecure, or when the voice within is a mere whisper and I need to strengthen its expression.
So, Christina, I thank you for assisting in the self-realization of my ever-present form, for I now realize I was never invisible or inferior. Your own strength unceasingly motivates me to remain the fighter I am with each polished note and original lyric. It is my hope that all people will one day discover and latch onto the beautiful fighter within until is a part of his or her own identity.
She Did What She Wanted firmly believes there’s nothing better than women empowering other women, so when we found out March is Women’s History Month, we knew we needed to do something special. There are too many amazing women to fit into just thirty one days, but to do our best, we invited our contributors to write about the favorite women in their lives, and Woman Crush Month came to be. #WCM is the ultimate girl power party, and it’s all about women celebrating women and their achievements, and we personally can’t think of anything better than that.