Do you ever stand in front of the mirror and think: hmm… that could be better? Do you feel a little less perfect after looking at countless perfect Insta snaps? Do you get criticised for your appearance without there being any constructive feedback to back it up? Girl band Little Mix went through this too and are now putting an end to it with their new power song Strip.

Bye bye body shaming

What is beauty? Research shows that most people agree on certain aspects of it: young is more beautiful than old and healthy is more beautiful than unhealthy. However, beauty ideals differ per country, per social background, and are also constantly changing with the times.

How important is it to be beautiful? Apparently good-looking people have more friends, earn higher wages, and live longer.

What stands out is that women who don’t conform to the norm are judged more harshly than men. They’re avoided, ignored, and even perceived as less friendly. Not so crazy that ‘body shaming’ (a trending word for negatively passing judgment on someone’s body, be it too fat, thin, muscular, large, or small) is such a hot topic!

Just strip!

What do the ladies of Little Mix have to say about this? You won’t miss any of their powerful messages by reading these lyrics:

[Verse 1]
You say I ain’t pretty
Well, I say I’m beautiful, it’s my committee

‘Committee’ seems a bit strange in this context, but I think they mean it as ‘team’. The ‘girl squad’ that is Little Mix stands up for each other and for their female fans.

Say we too provocative
Still look at me, look at me, look at me, yeah
Come for my girls, you blind, Daily Mail ratin’, mañana a la noche
I don’t owe you nothin’
Nah, I don’t give a, no, not anymore

The Daily Mail has, in the past, criticised Little Mix’s revealing outfits as being provocative. With this line, they’re saying: judge us however you like, we don’t care.

If you got little boobs, love it, love it, love it, love it, love it
If you got a big ass, grab it, grab it grab it, grab it, grab it (Ah-ooh)
If you got nothing, babe, rock it

It’s your life, go get it, if you want it
Up in the mirror like, “Aw, yeah”
Lovin’ my figure like, “Aw, yeah”
When I’m slim or I’m thick, I’m like, “Aw, yeah”
Swear I’ma kill ’em like ah

Take off all my make-up ’cause I love what’s under it
Rub off all your words, don’t give a uh, I’m over it
Jiggle all this weight, yeah, you know I love all of this
Finally love me naked, sexiest when I’m confident (Ah, ah, ah, ah)

They go further than only being accepting of appearance:

[Verse 2]
Love who you wanna
Don’t give a damn if it’s a man or a woman
Wanna talk about colour?
It’s the skin that I’m in, yeah, I get from my mama (Uh-huh)
I’m a woman, don’t test me
Baby, I’m growing, my stretch-marks are sexy
I don’t owe you nothing
Nah, I don’t give a, no, not anymore

They also speak about the influence of social media: 

[Verse 3]
First of all, you got to love who you are
Don’t let social media tear you apart
H.B.I.C., I’m Benji in charge

H.B.I.C. stands for Head Bitch In Charge, or rather a ‘lady boss’ who runs the show.

I’m ready and I got a hundred bars

The term ‘Hot Bar’ is often used in hip hop as a synonym for a clever sentence or a ‘slick rhyme’. These ladies have a hundred of them. They also tell us what is really important in life:

I don’t care if you got a hundred cars
I don’t care if you got a hundred mil’
‘Cause even if you had a hundred deals
That money won’t buy you what confidence will

Skrrt, pull up with the drip

If you melt your ‘hot bar’, you end up with ‘the drip’. Loosely translated, this term stands for immense swag, or rather: being super cool.

Got juice (Got juice), take a sip (Take a sip)
I’m so (Uh-huh) serious (What, what?)
Lil’ Mix in a mix period (Period)

A play on words, ‘Period’ could refer to a period of time, but is also often used to emphasise a statement. ‘Period’.

Still a cover girl, even with no makeup
Live your best life, even with your A-cups
I don’t gotta act, I just gotta be me
Put me on a track, I’ma ride like Kiki (Ayy)
Strip – Little Mix feat. Sharaya J

This is a reference to In My Feelings by Drake:Kiki, do you love me? Are you riding?’

Earlier this year, the Canadian rapper’s track went viral thanks to the Kiki Challenge.

What is the (naked) truth?

Jesy, Leigh-Anne, Jade, and Perrie from Little Mix don’t only make a statement through their lyrics, while their music video is also full of meaningful messages. They have given all kinds of women who are fighting body shaming a platform, including plus size model Felicity Hayward, body positivity guru Megan Jayne Crabbe, and transgender model Maxim Magnus, who all have a role in the video.

Finally, the ladies of Little Mix appeared nude in their music video, with the criticisms they’ve received over the years painted onto their bodies. From ‘ugly’ and ‘slutty’ to ‘flabby’ and ‘fat’. The message still seemed to fly over the heads of many, as the girl band was consequently criticised for using the music video as a cheap way to show their naked bodies for (free) publicity.

Is this a sign that they’re fighting the good fight, or do you agree with the critics, that their message could have been conveyed differently? Let us know in the comments! 👇

Read more

Many ladies paved the way for Little Mix with powerful feminist songs. Check out these songs by Beyonce for example. Or curious about more musical Life Hacks? Read them here!

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– Strip is written by Uzoechi Emenike / Jade Thirlwall / Leigh-Anne Pinnock / Jesy Nelson / Chris Loco / Perrie Edwards / Camille Purcell / Sharaya Howell © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, 2018.
📸: Unknown, from music video