Guess who’s having fun today? That’s right, it’s Cyndi Lauper’s 61st birthday! An icon to feminists everywhere, “Girls just wanna have fun!” Cyndi boldly declared when she hit the music scene in the early 80s– the subtext being, “girls just wanna have fun like boys do— without having to explain it to anyone.”
With her combat boots and funky hair style, Cyndi also let the world know that she dressed to please herself. If men liked it, great. If they didn’t, they could go suck it.
Cyndi was not the first, nor was she the last, female singer of that era to flaunt conventional feminine standards of beauty and show women other ways to present themselves to the world.
Some women, like Joan Jett, literally took cliches aimed at women— like the phrase “great knockers!”— and made a joke out of it by wearing actual door knockers over her breasts. In so doing, she was both disempowering the phrase and empowering herself by taking ownership of it.
Madonna followed suit. Her cone breasts weren’t —as some may have thought– meant to look “pretty.” On the contrary, Madonna let the world know her breasts were weapons, meant to entice and ensnare, and they certainly seem to have empowered Miss Ciccone! They actually empowered her straight to the bank!!!
Lady Gaga is a great example of a female singer who has taken her cue from the feminists of the 80s. Look at her comment on how women are perceived by media and consumers!
I, for one, am most thankful to these daring and powerful performers. They give us all permission to be whoever we want, whether it be pleasing to others, or pleasing only to ourselves.
They also turn themselves into political billboards; they let us know where they stand, and that’s brave.
And — this is really important, folks, so pay attention— and they push their viewers to think, to feel, and to react— and this, my good readers, is the highest goal an artist can achieve.
Now you tell me: What do you think about these outfits? Who is your favorite female performer from the 80s? Why? For me, it will always be Madonna and Cyndi, but there were a lot of all-stars during that era, from Debra Harry to Tina Turner. Make some noise, readers. Let me hear from you!