Friday, June 13, 2014

Janelle Monae: The Power of a Woman

This past weekend Roger and I attended the Janelle Monae concert at Red Butte Garden Amphitheater. It was so much fun. At her first entrance, I was surprised at how tiny she was. But, it didn't take long to realize that this woman had 'star power' packed into her 5 foot tall frame. Her voice, her dance talent, her charisma and did I mention her voice?! Effortless, lyrical, expressive and dynamic. I was enjoying myself so much and then about a quarter of the way through the concert I realized that her fashion choices made an impact but unlike many other female singers today she dressed...dare I say it?...modestly. She is a beautiful woman but she wasn't using her body in the provocative way that I am (unfortunately) accustomed to in popular female artists. She wasn't an object, she was a vibrant, whole human being. She was still sexy, but the music came first, her talent came first and because she wasn't putting it all out there (so to speak) she seemed to me even more powerful than someone who uses sex as their primary way of gaining fame, notoriety, *cough* respect, and attention. I guess it says something about me and maybe society in general, when I expected her to come out with a shirt cut down to her belly button, wearing no pants with wedged gladiator sandals. But, after this concert, I can honestly say to all the women who feel they have to wear very little to receive the validation they seek for their talent, their bodies, their attractiveness or whatever, "You can wear clothes and still be the brightest star in the room. You can be powerful, beautiful and magnetic!" I know that now, I have seen it first hand and I am happy that women have an option. Look, I don't get out to many concerts and I am sure there are other artists who don't dress up in just hot pants and a scarf, but this was eye opening for me being mostly subject to mainstream TV and internet where the headlines are all about those artists who dress in the aforementioned alluring manner. Sure, they get a lot of attention, but at the end of the day, what do they always say? "I want to be known for my music, it is about the music." Well, with Janelle, it is about the music, period. I left that concert dancing my way out the door: inspired, uplifted, and happy!

Here is a sample of her charm and incredible talent: