Belles use music to uplift young women

Belles+use+music+to+uplift+young+women

Can you name one person who never listens to music? I’ll bet most people you know have their headphones in for at least part of their day. Whether its Fetty Wap or Bach you prefer, listening or creating music is a common pastime among college students.

But at Loyola, music for the Belles, Loyola’s female a cappella group, seems to be more than just their favorite thing to do. They are using their music to uplift other young women in the community, a move towards progressive ideals that is a reflection of what’s going on across campus.

The Belles crafted a power-packed lineup for this semester’s Chordbusters concert, including songs by Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa and LEON. Their set list this semester also included some hits designed to uplift and praise the girls sitting in their audience.

“Not Your Way,” a song by the band Misterwives, was added to the list as a nod to feminism and the refusal to accept society’s view of women. The ethereal vibes and matter-of-fact lyrics make an anthem for any girl who wants to be her own person. The song shoots all societal expectations of women down, from “dressing our best” and “growing up to be a trophy wife.”

Women on every college campus, Loyola’s beloved Evergreen included, have faced the pressure to be “perfect wives” or “perfect women,” whose sole purpose is to fulfill society’s standards. However, schools like Loyola have recently been pushing for females to actively pursue successful careers and break gender boundaries. This groovy tune is a reflection of the recent trend across universities to promote working women and advocate for their success.

Another staple in the Belle’s lineup is “Pretty Hurts” by Beyonce, a moving ballad that upholds the true beauty of women and speaks the struggles of living in a society where looks are valued above other characteristics such as intelligence and compassion. The song features lyrics describing how we “shine the light on whatever’s worst” and how “perfection is the disease of a nation.” The soulful arrangement is chilling, especially given that the song concludes with the idea that “it’s the soul that needs the surgery.”

Young women live in a culture where they are downgraded based on their looks, but the Belles’ song selection is part of a nation-wide revolution against the standards of beauty in the nation. YouTube is flooded with tutorials on natural beauty, and stores like Forever 21 sell patches for young women to personalize their clothing with cacti, hot dogs and the like.

Recent fashion and beauty trends show that consumers’ wants are moving towards embracing girls’ natural, true features and real characteristics. The newest generation of women want to be noticed for who they are and what they can accomplish. The emotional recantation and praise of true beauty both in looks and in being praises young women who long to be their true selves.

College campuses have been making strides to uplift women, and the Evergreen campus is no exception. Through clubs for women in STEM and increased support networks for female students, “girl power” and positive female morale have been on the rise among the Loyola student body. The Belles have set the bar high, but they are determined to further the praise of young women on campus.