charli xcx and nicki minaj talk feminism and music in new doc

In ‘Charli XCX: the F-Word and Me,’ Charli chats with lady musicians about where feminism fits into the music industry today.

by Hana Beach
25 November 2015, 8:10pm

Photography Kaitlin Christy

The Spice Girls were pioneers. They pushed their message of "girl power" with funky outfits and peace signs almost two decades before Beyoncé released "Run the World." As musician and outspoken activist Charli XCX explains in her new documentary, Charli XCX: The F-Word and Me, they were the first pop group to really introduce the world to feminism. The doc, which aired on the BBC yesterday, is a tour diary of sorts, in which Charli chats with fellow young, female musicians about how, where, and if feminism is represented in the music industry in 2015.

She interviews Nicki Minaj and Marina Lambrini Diamandis of Marina and the Diamonds about their personal experiences with sexism in the industry. Nicki talks about female confidence and self-assurance, while Marina describes changing her sound and the backlash her creative choices created. Yet, both musicians wonder if they would receive the same criticism if they were men. Charli also includes conversations with Ryn Weaver and Lizzy Plapinger, of MS MR fame, which reinforces her message that the fight for a female pop star to obtain creative control of her brand is no joke.

The testimony of Charli and her female musician girlsquad does indicate that the music industry has come a long way since the days of 90s pop and an overly sexualized teenage Britney Spears. But Charli XCX: the F-Word and Me shows how even in the year that Adele's 25 crushed NSYNC's No Strings Attached album sales record, women musicians still have to fight against gender conventions, one hit single at a time. 


Text Hana Beach
Photography Kaitlin Christy

Spice Girls
Nicki Minaj
Charli XCX
Marina & The Diamonds