On Sunday night, viewers tuned into The X Factor for a performance by the ‘Shoutout to my Ex’ stars Little Mix. The girls have been extremely successful in their post X Factor lives, but after their Sunday show, viewers were focused on something else: the girls’ outfits (or lack thereof). Stripping into leotards, fishnets and knee-high boots, people took to twitter to express their disgust and shock.
Well, I wouldn't exactly say I was shocked, just two months ago the girls were attacked for appearing on The X Factor dressed in big pants and not much else, a scene almost identical to that of Sunday. So, the girls are clearly aware of the criticism they would be subject to by dressing that way, and still chose to, so maybe we should be congratulating the girls for their sassy and bold behaviour.
What angered many was that Little Mix’s target audience is the average 12-year old girl, and so does dressing that way make them ‘appropriate’ role models? In a world of Instagram insecurities, young girls are under pressure to look a certain way, and so is it sensible for Little Mix to dress in a way that is likely to induce difficult-to-achieve body goals? Also, are they able to be recognised for their talents when they begin to sell themselves as sex symbols?
On the other hand, is this just another display or the vicious culture of attacking women? Both men and women described the girls as ‘strippers’ and ‘prostitutes’ for baring a bit of skin on stage. Would men be subject to these kind of insults? Of course not. And role models? How about teaching our sons and daughters that shaming women because of how they choose to dress, be that a bikini or a burqa, is wrong?
Many also chose to criticise Jesy for not ‘covering up’, as she is a bit ‘bigger’. Sigh. ‘Role models’ come in all shapes and sizes remember.
I myself am divided on the issue. As a woman, with young girl cousins, I understand the pressure that girls of increasingly young ages are subject to, to look a certain way. However, I think I might have more of an issue with the fact that people are choosing to focus yet again on the female body, rather than what is, let's face it, a group of genuine girls with huge talents. Little Mix, I still love ya, and can’t wait to 'sing shoutout to my ex next year' with you live.
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