Opinions are like bum holes – everyone has them, right? So why are teenage girls being made to feel like theirs doesn’t matter? We have opinions on politics, what’s going on in the world and even- dum dum duh- music, believe it or not! So why is it we are often told to be quiet and not to voice our opinions when other older people can? Seems a bit unfair to me. Surely, our opinions matter and are just as valid as, say, a 40-year-old man? After all, we do make up quite a big part of society and, for most of us, our age and gender doesn’t make us who we are.
We, as teenage girls, are often considered weak and looked down upon not just in music but in everyday life. We aren’t allowed to do certain things because it’s un-ladylike or not what people expect of a ‘young lady’ (and yeah, this even goes as far as playing instruments or listening to rock music!). But some of us want to break away from the stereotypes. Some of us want to wear sports kits, band shirts and black jeans, want to play instruments and even be captain of the rugby or football team (and a bloomin’ good one, for that matter!) Girls can break away from feminine “likes” and enjoy music other than Little Mix and One Direction, believe it or not!
Lately some musicians, such as newly solo star Harry Styles and All Time Low‘s Alex Gaskarth, have even addressed the way they’ve seen their female teenage fans be treated and felt like they had to address the issue. Teenage girls often get called ‘fake fans’, but like Styles has said on the matter in a recent high-profile interview with Rolling Stone, “Music is something that is always changing. There’s no goal posts”. At the end of the day, it shouldn’t matter what age you are, what gender you are, or even what band it is, you can still be a fan of the music. It’s not a crime, people should accept that anyone can like any kind of music without being ‘pigeonholed’. Different strokes for different folks.
If you attend pretty much any gig, you’ll always find screaming teenage girls ‘fangirling’ at the front. Some people get annoyed by this; however, bands such as Paramore have recently moved from pop-punk to a much poppier style, and while some might say these bands have sold out so they can become more popular with the ‘younger generation’, maybe they’re just appreciating how powerful our opinions can be?
This ignorance often leads people to think you must fit into certain stereotypes to enjoy different kinds of music, and once you’re in that circle you stay there and you can’t possibly like any other music (anybody else have Beach Boys on their play list as well as My Chemical Romance and blink-182?). But do you really have to be popular to like all new pop music? Do you have to have been bullied to fit in with the ‘emo’ scheme? No! It’s not a crime to like more than one genre of music, just as much as it’s not a crime to be young, female and a legitimate fan!
Maybe what is most important for those who look down on the opinions of young women who are enthusiastic about the music scene to remember is that they are often the ones keeping it alive, and many bands wouldn’t be where they are today without their teenage girl fanbase.