Yet another reason to bow down at the neon sequinned altar of 25-year-old Claire Boucher, the Canadian artist, musician, and music video director better known as Grimes: the tirade she posted on her Tumblr last night about the frustrations of being a rising 20something female celebrity.
Grimes is young and skinny and pretty, so she has two categorical options: sex bomb or manic pixie dream girl. What if she doesn't want to embody either? Tough luck. "i dont want to be infantilized because i refuse to be sexualized," she writes. "im tired of being referred to as ‘cute,’ as a ‘waif’ etc., even when the author, fan, friend, family member etc. is being positive." (She also helpfully posted a definition of "waif," which can either mean "a homeless and helpless person, esp. a neglected or abandoned child" or "attractive in a pretty or endearing way." Gag.)
Grimes is also tired of constant mansplaining from dudes who think she can't make it on her own, even though her most recent album, Visions, received widespread acclaim (The New York Times called it "one of the most impressive albums of the year"):
I’m tired of men who aren’t professional or even accomplished musicians continually offering to ‘help me out’ (without being asked), as if i did this by accident and i’m gonna flounder without them. or as if the fact that I’m a woman makes me incapable of using technology. I have never seen this kind of thing happen to any of my male peers
I’m tired of the weird insistence that i need a band or i need to work with outside producers (and I’m eternally grateful to the people who don’t do this)
Grimes is also tired of "being considered vapid for liking pop music or caring about fashion as if these things inherently lack substance or as if the things i enjoy somehow make me a lesser person, being "molested at shows or on the street by people who perceive me as an object that exists for their personal satisfaction," and explaining feminism:
I’m sad that my desire to be treated as an equal and as a human being is interpreted as hatred of men, rather than a request to be included and respected (I have four brothers and many male best friends and a dad and i promise i do not hate men at all, nor do i believe that all men are sexist or that all men behave in the ways described above)
"I have the best job in the world," Grimes acknowledges, "but I’m done with being passive about any kind of status quo that allows anyone to suffer or to be disrespected." Soon after the post went up, Grimes published a disclaimer of sorts in which she stressed how much she loves her fans: "i wrote what i wrote below not to complain or make anyone sad, but because i feel like if its possible to not accept stuff i hate and live a comfortable life then i want to do it :)"
Famous women — especially young famous women — are expected to be eternally grateful for their celebrity. Those who express dissent at an early age are often deemed bratty or bitchy for the rest of their career. Is that why Grimes felt the need to defend (with a happy emoticon, no less) why she's publicly upset about pervasive sexism and harassment?
Earlier this year, Grimes deleted her Tumblr after Pitchfork quoted from a similarly-themed post she wrote about feminism, complaining that her "tumblr is not a news source." It was a pretty ridiculous gripe — Grimes is a frequent Twitter and Tumblr user and obviously understands how the internet works — but it shows how she's understandably uneasy about being identified as a "complainer" — another label that, as she wrote, turns her into an object for our "personal satisfaction."
[Image via Flickr]