My Crush on American Girl Bands

Words: Jasmine Uitermark-Thaung

I’ve spent the whole day trawling the internet after listening to some really great girl bands situated in the U.S of A.

I’ve been spurred on by my love for giving the middle finger to the ever-present man and an intense infatuation for empowered female figures who wield everything dear to me: musical finesse and angsty vibes straight out of a Sofia Coppola film.

Delving into the world of American Girl Bands thanks to my helpful friends the internet and Rookie Mag, here’s a couple of things I found about my current crushes.

These girls are endearing:

Maybe you’ve heard of The Prettiots, maybe you haven’t, but either way they’re pretty great when it comes to lyrics with their hearts on their sleeves and a ukulele. It’s like they’ve become the ultimate combination of the manic pixie dream girls found in cult films with an element of realness that has you relating to them.

I like them because they protest stereotypes:

They aren’t at every rally, but American Girl Bands wield female power in the same way Guerrilla Girls did pre-2000 in the art world, still pioneers today. To a majority the word “Feminist” is shrouded in misconceptions, so it’s interesting to see girl bands not declaring their feminist stance at every opportunity, instead they do it through their lyrics evident in Girlpool’s Paint Me Colors.

The internet takes no prisoners, and these present day women are aware of that.

Still, there aren’t a lot of women of colour in these girl bands:

In fact, I couldn’t find any.

I’d love it if someone could alert me to some really rad girl bands featuring WOC. You can call me culturally sensitive, but I’d prefer that to culturally insensitive. Perhaps it’s the image of Sofia Coppola’s whimsical character’s whiteness that has been carried across to the girl band scene in America, but it seems to me that with the amount of talent that has long been harboured in the black jazz scene, the unique perspectives women of colour have to offer when it comes to songwriting and music’s incredible reach that is still being held back by white exclusivity that irks me and really rubs me the wrong way.

Why is this us and them approach being fostered but not spoken about? Now my crush on American Girl Bands makes me feel conflicted.