mø’s notes on being a woman

From her deep and undying love of The Spice Girls to slowly learning to not give a fuck, the Danish popstar shares everything she’s learnt about being a woman so far.

by Frankie Dunn
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14 December 2017, 5:33pm

Am I doing this woman thing right? Do you do this woman thing the same as me? Does it matter? Existential lady crisis -- we all have it. Notes on Being a Woman is an ongoing series that examines the many myths and meanings of what being a woman is all about.

29-year-old Karen Marie Ørsted is probably the most famous Danish musician in the world right now. From the moment she danced into our lives -- signature hair-whipping aplenty -- with the Diplo-produced No Mythologies To Follow on Chess Club Records and RCA back in 2014, the world was hooked. Diplo was too, it seems, as annual collaborations followed in the form of killer Major Lazer singles Lean On in 2015 and Cold Water with Justin Bieber in 2016, before this year’s Get It Right.

2017 brought along new creative collaborators in the form of Charli XCX on 3am and SOPHIE on Cashmere Cat’s totally dreamy 9 (After Coachella), as well as surprise EP When I Was Young, which is doing a great job of tiding us over until we finally get to hear MØ’s second studio album. Though she’s ruling over a mainstream world right now, she’s far from your typical polished pop princess. Currently sporting a pixie cut inspired by 90s Juliette Lewis, Karen Marie Ø is ice cool and a champion of the real. Before she pauses for Christmas and heads off on the MØ x Cashmere Cat MEØW US tour, we asked her reflect on her life experiences as a woman so far.


Love smells like warm skin sleeping on the pillow next to me. It looks like a familiar face and feels like the biggest comfort and gift in the world.

The hardest thing about being a woman is different for everyone. For me, it’s the mirage of ‘having it all’ somewhere off in the distance. I think in many ways you do have to choose. And if you DO have it all you are a superhero, please tell me your secrets.

The best advice anyone ever gave me about human bodies is… that no body is better than any other body.

When I was 16 I was trying to be ‘one of the boys’. I thought that denouncing femininity was strong. It’s great to play with those lines, but I missed the very important fact that I was doing it because I thought being a boy was better or cooler. Now I don’t bother trying to be anyone other than myself and the powerful women in my life are the coolest people I know.

The film that taught me most about being a woman was either Spice World or Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains.

The older I get the more I become aware that I'm a woman. Growing up, and even in my early twenties, I didn't ever think about the fact that I was a woman. My gender simply didn't matter to me. But now that I have become an adult (ish) I find myself being more self-aware of it.

I am happiest on stage. Or after 2 hours of playing a drinking game with my old girl crew.

My favourite song about being a woman is Oh Bondage Up Yours! by X-Ray Spex.

The women I most admire are Kim Gordon, Bjork, Solange, and DANICA ROEM!

The best thing about getting older is giving fewer and fewer fucks about the things that don’t deserve my fucks.

The biggest lie about getting older is that excitement and growth end with youth.

Owning flatware makes me feel like a grown-up. That and knowing that flatware is called flatware.

My question for the next woman in this column is: What do you think the biggest step forward has been for women of your generation vs. your mother’s generation?

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notes on being a woman