It’s a yearly tradition that we create a send-off into summer with a killer playlist that features songs from our Youth Advisory Board–made of smart, strong and activist–teen girls. We ask them to choose from rockstar empowering female artists that make us feel good and lift us up! Each member chose two songs they’ve enjoyed listening to over the past year – songs that they feel have a good tune, powerful, empowering lyrics, and are sung (for the most part) by a powerhouse female artist! We hope you enjoy it as much as we do and share with the girls and young women in your life!
SONG CHOICE 1: “Go to War” by Nothing More
REASON: It’s very applicable to the current time. War can mean many things, whether it be physical or emotional. Additionally, the sound of this song, to me at least, is newer, but with a hint of what’s familiar.
SONG CHOICE 2: “Older” by Ben Platt
REASON: It’s an amazing song that reminds you to live in the moment because if you don’t do that you’ll miss your chance. Also, Ben Platt’s voice is amazing. He has a huge range and can jump from like a G2 to a B4 and his voice is really comforting to listen to.
SONG CHOICE 1: “No Tears Left to Cry” by Ariana Grande
REASON: I chose this song because whenever I hear it I just dance and I feel the best in my heart and I LOVE Ariana Grande.
SONG CHOICE 2: “Run the World” by Beyoncé
REASON: I chose this song because it hypes me up and it makes me feel like I can do anything. Also, Beyoncé is a GOD.
SONG CHOICE 1: “Respect” by Aretha Franklin
REASON: It’s been an anthem for women since the 1960s and it’s beautifully melodic. It’s definitely one of my favorite “get up and dance” songs. Great for a summer playlist, in my opinion.
SONG CHOICE 2: “You Should See Me in a Crown” by Billie Eilish
REASON: I chose this song because it’s the “now” anthem. It pushed the boundaries and is the polar opposite of Aretha’s song. It’s electronic and punk in the best way possible.
SONG CHOICE 1: “The Man” by Taylor Swift
REASON: I chose the song not only because she is one of my favorite artists but because her song highlights the imbalance and double standard between men and women. Taylor Swift has spoken about many topics through her songs and her social media platform including LGBTQ+ rights, the BLM movement, and the reason why voting is extremely important. The Man specifically focuses on feminism and how women and men are not treated equally. Her lyrics state, “And I’m so sick of them coming at me again ’cause if I was a man, then I’d be the man.” She conveys throughout those lyrics that if she was a man that had done ALL of the same things she had, she would be more respected just due to the fact that she is a man. This song empowers me to spread feminism and shatter the ‘glass ceiling’ more and more. Swift’s powerful lyrics and message make this song fun and impactful for girls and women all around the world.
SONG CHOICE 2: “Scars to Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara
REASON: I chose this one because her powerful and feministic message conveys that you do not need to fix your “scars” to meet the world’s “standards” for women. Cara sings, “And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart.” The lyrics state that WE as women do not have to change, the WORLD needs to change to not have standards and expectations for girls and women. These ‘standards’ on how women should look and act are extremely unreasonable and the world as a whole needs to change so that younger girls, teens, and adult women do not have to feel the need to change themselves. Cara’s song communicates that our differences or scars, as said in the song, are what make us beautiful and we should not change in any way, shape, or form to appease others.
SONG CHOICE 1: “S. L. U. T.” by Bea Miller (not what you think it is!)
REASON: I love this song because it encourages everyone to be who they are, regardless of gender, race, religion, etc, and especially empowers women to love themselves and shake off negativity. The video is also great, featuring all kinds of women and the song is super catchy!
SONG CHOICE 2: “Soy Yo” by Bomba Estéreo
REASON: The title of this song, in English, is “I am ME!” and that’s just what it’s about! I love this song because it’s about always doing what YOU love and not caring what others think or say. It’s in Spanish, but I think even non-Spanish speakers will love the lively beat and still leave with the same feeling of empowerment! This song also has an amazing music video that I could just watch over and over.
SONG CHOICE 1: “Brown Skin Girl” by Beyonce
REASON: I chose this song because I truly believe that being brown is a huge flex! And I also believe Beyonce is one of the world´s most popular and influential black female artists and for her to make a song revolving around the fact that brown skin is gorgeous or as she puts it ¨the best thing in the world¨.
SONG CHOICE 2: “Savage” (remix) by Megan Thee Stallion (feat.Beyonce)
REASON: I chose it because I think this is a huge bop! I also love the contrast between Beyonce´s and Megan´s voice on the song. More importantly, though, I chose this song because the lyrics remind me of being a young woman and being whoever I want to be, whether that be boogie or ¨ratchet¨ and just doing whatever i want to do no matter what others may think of me.
SONG CHOICE 1: “Would You Be So Kind” by Dodie
REASON: This song reminds me of a beautiful bright summer and a shining sun, there isn’t much better than that!
SONG CHOICE 2: “Fever Dream” by Mxmtoon
REASON: This is one of my all-time favorite songs, I’d love to share it with more people!
SONG CHOICE 1: “Soulmate” by Lizzo
REASON: A few nights ago, my mom, my sister, and I had an impromptu dance party to this song. Soulmate is a wonderful song to dance to, especially when you need a pick me up. Soulmate is empowering and advocates for self-love, and it has an awesome beat. It’s a happy song and it makes me smile, which I believe is the best effect that a song can have.
SONG CHOICE 2: “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton
REASON: Dolly Parton is the ultimate killer empowering woman. In her song 9 to 5, she expresses a want for more that I believe many women experience. This song also just has a great beat!
SONG CHOICE 1: “Just Friends” by Audrey Mika
REASON: I enjoy the lively beat of the song, and it reminds me of summer.
SIONG CHOICE 2: “Adore You” by Harry Styles
REASON: The rhyme of the song is catchy, and it has been stuck in my head for a while.
SONG CHOICE 1: “Six,” Six the Musical (Original West End Cast)
REASON: Six is an amazing new pop musical with an all-female cast and band. It re-imagines the six wives of Henry VIII as a girl group who have come together to share their side of history (or as they say, her-story). Each Queen gets a moment to shine, Catharine of Aragon gets a Beyoncé-style number as she declares that she won’t be ordered around by Henry, and Anna of Cleves shines in a Rihanna-like song boasting how “[she’s] the queen of the castle” and is just fine with that. However, in the final song, all six women come together, as different as they are, to fantasize about an alternative world where they are remembered as more than six wives, and through this new, empowering musical (and album) the historical queens are getting just that.
SONG CHOICE 2: “Unprodigal Daughter,” Jagged Little Pill (Original Broadway Cast)
REASON: “Unprodigal Daughter” was originally written by Alanis Morissette, but this version comes from Jagged Little Pill, the jukebox musical based on her albums. In the context of the show, this song is sung by Frankie Healy (Celia Gooding), a teenage girl with a passion for making the much-needed change in the world. After a fight with her parents, she sets off on a train to New York City, and sings this song, realizing that she’s different and misunderstood, and just needs to get away from it all for a bit. Frankie isn’t perfect, but that’s what makes her a great character, and the song showcases that. Jagged Little Pill (the musical) deals with themes such as pain, healing, empowerment, and many important current-day issues, all with amazing music and multi-dimensional, real characters.
SONG CHOICE 1: “Fall in Line” by Christina Aguilera ft. Demi Lovato
REASON: I chose this song because of its powerful message that tells women they are in control of their own destinies, and compels them not to “fall in line.” In the music video, Demi and Christina are imprisoned by men as children, and as they grow up, are forced to perform and entertain for cameras. By the end, they have escaped their prison cells, and the lyrics contribute to the theme of breaking away from societal standards for women, for example; “You do not owe them // Your body and your soul // You’re more than flesh and bones // I wasn’t made to fall in line.” Unfortunately, the song didn’t receive a lot of recognition, perhaps for a bigger, scarier reason, but it is a beautiful song created by two amazing female vocalists speaking out about female empowerment.
SONG CHOICE 2: “Most Girls” by Hailee Steinfeld
REASON: I chose this song because of its message that calls out the way women tend to accept backhanded compliments that generalize females. In the music video, a man tells Hailee, “You’re just… not like most girls.” Instead of taking this as a compliment, she walks away. This symbolizes her understanding of the widely accepted golden standard or rule that in order to be special you have to be different from other women. To combat this, Hailee uses lyrics that positively, instead of negatively, generalize women, for example; “Most girls are smart and strong and beautiful // Most girls, work hard, go far, we are unstoppable.”
SONG CHOICE 1: “Together” by Sia
REASON: I chose this song because it is about loving yourself, but also everyone around you. Sia says, “Can’t love me unless you love you too” which I think is an incredible line because it is true. We need to hold each other up and we will be undefeatable together!
SONG CHOICE 2: “Underdog” by Alicia Keys
REASON: I chose this song because it is so motivational and inspiring, especially in these times of coronavirus and the fight for social justice. These lines always raise my mood when I face a challenge, “This goes out to the underdog/Keep on keeping at what you love/You’ll find that someday soon enough/You will rise up, rise up, yeah.”
SONG CHOICE 1: “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar
REASON: It signifies the racial justice movement happening in our country currently, so it is a sign of the times.
SONG CHOICE 2: “The Pressure” by Jhene Aiko
REASON: It’s relaxing and serves as the perfect soothing background music while working or to have a mindful moment.
SONG CHOICE 1: “Rain on Me” by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande
REASON: It’s an uplifting song that looks at the bright side of things by 2 great artists.
SONG CHOICE 2: “Break My Heart” by Dua Lipa
REASON: It’s about starting to finally be happy, even though she is scared that something will ruin the happiness, she is letting herself be happy.
SONG CHOICE 1: “I Did Something Bad” by Taylor Swift
REASON: I chose this song because Taylor Swift has experienced a lot of put down by the media and society because she’s a girl and because she’s outspoken. She’s always told that speaking out and voicing your opinion is “bad” and she should be a “good girl”, but through this song, she breaks free of her societal chains and states that she can do what she wants.
SONG CHOICE 2: “4EVER” by Clairo
REASON: I chose this song because Clairo is a very well-known woman in the indie-pop scene. In 4EVER, she talks about growing up, leaving her high school and hometown, and having to face the world on her own. It’s daunting, but the feel-good tune behind it gives it a good and nostalgic feel, reassuring you that moving on and going through self-discovery is perfectly normal and valid
Want more girl-power playlists curated by MEDIAGIRLS?
Also, take a moment to learn more about our Youth Advisory Board!