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Female- & Body-Positive Music : Body Image Songs

Updated on August 28, 2012
As part of the journey to better body image and self-esteem, I've recommended listening to female-positive music. But in a male-oriented entertainment industry, it can be hard to find. Here are a few suggestions to get you started. I've included a little of everything, but once you've honed in on your own personal taste in music, you'll find it's like a domino effect: one band leads to another... and soon, you'll never want to go back to "Shake that Rump."

India Arie - Video

India Arie - I Am Not My Hair (Live)

India Arie

India Arie broke the mould with her debut single, "Video." Shattering the stereotypes of female R&B singers, she unabashedly proclaimed:

Sometimes I shave my legs and sometimes I don't

Sometimes I comb my hair and sometimes I won't

Depending how the wind blows I might even paint my toes

It really just depends on whatever feels good in my soul

---full lyrics here

The success of her first album by no means corrupted India. Her second album did moderately well, but she came back with a vengeance for Testimony: Vol 1, Life and Relationships, thanks to a powerful song called "I Am Not My Hair."

Corinne Bailey Rae - Put Your Records On

Corinne Bailey Rae

This young British songstress burst onto the music scene with the easy-going, "Girl Put Your Records On." The video (shown at right) is remarkably simple and free of booty-dancing and sex scenes. Corinne herself always looks fresh and natural, emphasizing her music over herself. And, reading her lyrics, you can see they speak for themselves.

Le Tigre - Keep on Livin'

Le Tigre

Le Tigre is well-known for their politically poignant lyrics. Along with artists like Sleater-Kinney and Bikini Kill, Le Tigre offers gutsy riot grrl music that's sure to get you pumped to face the world. Sometimes the lyrics can get lost, but one of my favorite passages comes from the song, "Keep on Livin'," which talks about experiencing your body, rather than dissecting it.

Christina Aguilera - Beautiful

Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera might seem an unusual artist to feature on a body-positive music list, considering her beginnings as a Britney-esque pop singer. But Christina and her music have both matured, as evidenced by the amazing ballad "Beautiful" (see lyrics), where she is able to show her own insecurities, and encourage us all to overcome ours.

P!nk - There You Go

P!nk

As a child, the girl who would be P!nk often got kicked out of class for asking her teachers embarrassing questions. Today, she continues to challenge traditional gender roles with songs like "There You Go," the lyrics of which break up with a man for treating her badly, from the aptly titled album "Can't Take Me Home."

Beyonce - Listen (Dreamgirls Soundtrack)

Dreamgirls

Sometimes, a good soundtrack makes a movie. This was certainly the case for the movie Dreamgirls, which opened to rave reviews, and won singer Jennifer Hudson a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. The song "Listen," sung in the film by Beyonce, speaks in no uncertain terms about the journey to self-discovery outside of the definition the world (and men) give you.

Buy the Soundtrack

Buy the Film

Keep in Mind...

Man does not live by bread alone... and neither does woman on music. Changing what you listen to can be a positive step in improving your self-esteem and body image, but it's only part of a larger problem. If you haven't already, check out some of the other resources I've provided on body image (listed below), and try to implement a series of small changes in your every day life, in what you read, watch, say, and do. The problem isn't one-sided, and neither is the solution.

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    • rachealomack profile image

      rachealomack 

      6 years ago from levittown, NY

      Love this, more positive messages are needed in the world for woman and all!

    • profile image

      MonEQuE 

      7 years ago

      thank you for this hub

    • lxxy profile image

      lxxy 

      8 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

      Great series of articles! Hope they help some down-and-out lady...turn off the television and throw away the Cosmo! The flesh is just one facet of what makes you human and beautiful.

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 

      9 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      great hub, love the songs.

    • profile image

      em 

      11 years ago

      I love Le Tigre! Thanks for putting this great list together!

    • Maddie Ruud profile imageAUTHOR

      Maddie Ruud 

      11 years ago from Oakland, CA

      Good thought, Lela. I'll add her to the list!

    • Lela Davidson profile image

      Lela Davidson 

      11 years ago from Bentonville, Arkansas

      This is insightful. I like Pink! She's full of positive messages about body image and tons more. Thanks for another great Hub!

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