Lily Allen’s Anti Black Feminism
Considering how many women in the last couple years have gotten record deals for their child-like talk singing, it’s amazing to think Lily Allen’s Alright, Still debuted back in 2006. Now 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.”
“Hard Out Here” opens with Allen lying on an operating table undergoing liposuction as a manager berates her nearby. It’s a deeply personal visual. Allen has faced years of a cruel tabloid press speculation about her body. In May 2007 she published a tearful post on her Myspace page:
"I used to pride myself on being strong-minded and not being some stupid girl obsessed with the way I look. I felt like it didn’t matter if I was a bit chubby ‘cos I’m not a model, I’m a singer. I’m afraid I am not strong and have fallen victim to the evil machine. I write to you in a sea of tears from my hotel bed in Seattle. I have spent the past hour researching gastric bypass surgery and laser liposuction."
Later that year she dropped from a size 12 to a size six. Headlines continued to chronicle her strained relationship to her body image, from 2011’s “I don’t care about weight gain” to “I have Body Dysmorphic Disorder” just months later.
“You’re not a size six, and you’re not good looking
Well, you better be rich, or be real good at cooking
You should probably lose some weight
'Cause we can't see your bones
You should probably fix your face or you’ll end up on your own”
Lily Allen on the Objectifying of women in pop culture.