It's unique- which is one of the strangest things about this generation.
I can't say i've ever felt compelled to be scantily dressed, to 'dumb myself down' or speak incessantly about how sexually active I or my friends are in person or in song.
I'm not devoutly religious, overtly conservative or a prude but as an artist, I feel like I have a responsibility to young women and men to be what is now almost considered a rare and wholesome personality in a business consumed with fame, materialism and shock tactics. More often than not in this business, the image outweighs the product and that's something that I have never been able to understand.
There are many strong female role models in the industry that remain consistent, prominent and positive influences on their generation and society as a whole, yet we tend to pay more attention to the shocking, provocative personality of the moment only to tear them down when we realise that their time has passed.
For strong women working within the media in various realms, you have to look no further than the likes of Sophia Bush, Teresa Palmer, Tina Fey, Ellen Degeneres, Meryl Streep, Jami Gertz, Nora Roberts, Marcia Casey or Sandra Bullock. Each have a strong passion for philanthropy and use their status as a public figure for good. Not only are they charitable beings, but they are each independent, beautiful, talented and intelligent women that dictate what they will share with and contribute to the media without compromising their integrity, morals or public persona.
If you have somewhat of a public profile, in my opinion you inexcusably have a responsibility to those that consume the art you create. To say that you are not a role model is incorrect, in fact you are the example of what you believe the media and society want to see. You have a chance to represent a generation.
Perhaps one of the greatest quotes I ever read from Miss Bush (pictured above) read like this: 'Acting is my art, my work and I'm very fortunate to be able to do it, but philanthropy is my passion'. Taking great pride in her ability to raise awareness for multiple causes, Sophia is a excellent example of an individual with a public profile urging others to make a difference. It is women in the media just like her that I and many others look to as an example of how to conduct yourself with poise, gumption and integrity in the spotlight. Ultimately diverting the attention from herself to those in dire need.
As I was fortunate enough to sit through countless meetings regarding my own music over the past two months, one point rose above the rest when my 'image' as a whole was discussed. I was educated. Law, Communications; University study under my belt and a black cap framed on my wall made me unique. I wasn't entirely sure how to process the reactions I received every time. 'So wait, you're not just a blonde singer songwriter?'
Not to diminish songwriters or artists by any means, but essentially I was astounded that this point made me unique. Have we as a society become so obsessed with the culture that is fame that we disregard education, intelligence, even morality to achieve what we believe is the desired image? I certainly hope not. If this point does make me unique in itself, then I will proudly wear that title.
I wont be telling you to throw your hands up in the hair, drink a bottle of whiskey, stay up until the sun rises, sleep with people that you won't remember in the morning, take drugs, take clothes off or to be disrespectful to those around you in any of my songs because that's not me. This generally goes against 80% of the lyrical content of pop songs today and I sit happily in the minority.
Art can be made and shared without objectification and I intend to do that. Fame is an illusion, integrity, kindness and intelligence are what outlast any fad of the moment.
And finally, I ask you... do we have the same problem for men in the media? How many male celebrities can you name that are taking all their clothes off in music videos, on red carpets, and posting suggestive photos via social media? I challenge you to name 5.
Sex sells I get it, but respect outweighs any monetary value you could ever place on your image or lifestyle.
Google those women that I mentioned above and see what stands at the forefront of their agenda, I assure you it's not taking their clothes off to gain attention. Something needs to change, and it needs to change now.
-Be a guiding light, I will do everything in my power to make the change.