ATP! Lists: #FlashbackFriday - Top 10 All-Girl Anthems
“Torn” is one of those anthems that’s empowering because it’s totally miserable. It has as much authority on blast in your bedroom while you’re drying your hair as it does in a club while you’re dying laughing because your bestie is dancing to it really, really expressively. I have a lot of time for a song that can succeed in both those arenas.
9. Christina Aguilera – Can’t Hold Us Down
Basically, everything the Internet has to say about gender equality in 2014, Christina and Lil’ Kim already nailed. There are, of course, songs that came before this that did the same, but the media is definitely guilty of letting this one fade from memory and it's tragic. It’s the chart-topping feminist manifesto that everybody forgot to mention when it came to processing Lily Allen’s Hard Out Here or Beyonce’s Flawless. Also one time for the styling in this video, which is absolutely on point.
8. Sixpence None The Richer – Kiss Me
That’s right, it’s the song that would become the main theme for teen rom-com She’s All That (and I’ll be damned if it didn’t come to completely embody the tone of 90s rom-coms as a whole). It still makes me think of garden swings and prom dresses that have at least 5 layers of chiffon and neither of those things even featured in my childhood. “Kiss Me” is the perfect expression of that period of life where you still possess the level of innocence required to say those two words without a) hating yourself because wow such cheese or b) freaking out because everyone sucks.
7. Meredith Brooks – Bitch
Did you know that women can fit into more than one category? Good. Well, you’d better not forget it because if you do Meredith Brooks will show up and remind you very aggressively by shredding on several guitars whilst revolving upside down in a shift dress and it will make you feel incredibly sub-par.
6. Britney Spears – Womanizer
Britney shaving her head is the single most iconic moment in millennial pop history. Whether you choose to believe it was down to impending drug tests or the pressure put on her to look perfect for every second of her life, the fact is she took control of her own image by taking away one of her most “valuable assets” – her hair, or as the media would insist on calling it, “Barbie-doll locks”. Fast-forward one year later and she rocks back on the scene with this banger and a short black bob. Britney – 1, World – 0.
5. Paramore – Misery Business
No list of all-girl anthems would be complete without the hit that catapulted Paramore to alt-rock stardom and Hayley Williams to poster-girl fame for teenagers everywhere. "Misery Business" is essentially one massive shout out to all those who don’t identify with the Mean Girls mentality coupled with the lyrical feel-good factor of taking down your love rival in a major way. It also gets plus points for being one of the most fun things to play on Rock Band.
4. No Doubt – Just A Girl
Does this one really need explaining? Gwen Stefani, yo. You better recognize.
3. TLC – No Scrubs
Materialism aside, this song basically says that if you want a cool life then you should be with somebody who can keep up with you. Holla.
2. Destiny’s Child – Bills, Bills, Bills
Here’s one for every dingus who has ever asked “who’s paying for this, your dad?” because they don’t get that a woman can buy a car, phone or property for herself with her own money. Or they do get it but think they're entitled to a piece of it for some reason. Spoiler alert: you're not. Jog on.
1. Spice Girls – Wannabe
Like it or not, these five ladies put girl power on the map (even if it was in the form of five commercially packed boxes). The outfits, the harmonies, the personalities... Spice Girls had it all. And if that wasn’t enough, they had the message, too, which was essentially this: if you can't be mates with my mates then it's curtains for you, I'm afraid.
To this day, nobody really knows what “Zigazig ah” means, but I assume it’s a state of mind that comes with the confidence to say, “We know we’re awesome and if you don’t get it, get lost”.
- Emma Garland