Keri Hilson Is A Feminist, Not That She Wants To Say So, Exactly

Illustration for article titled Keri Hilson Is A Feminist, Not That She Wants To Say So, Exactly

Her song "Pretty Girl Rock" — with lyrics like "Get yourself together don't hate (never do it)/ jealousy is the ugliest trait (don't ever do it)/ I can talk about it cause I know that I'm pretty /And if you know it too then ladies sing it with me" — is sort of an anthem for confidence (or, um, lookism?), and Keri Hilson obviously wants to be encouraging to the ladies. She tells My Yearbook, "I was inspired by the fact that I feel women seek validation in so many things, and I felt it was time that they had an example of how to feel about themselves no matter what anyone says."


Yet when reporter Kate Heath asks: "Your album aims to be very empowering to all women. Would you call yourself a feminist?" Hilson replies:

"I don't know. That word has been tossed around a few times. I absolutely stand for women's rights – I do. I also believe in empowerment and just owning and controlling your situation - be it your relationships, sexuality or confidence — and then not allowing anyone to take that. If any of that puts me into the feminist box, then I'm proudly there.

But I'm not a Nazi with it. I just feel strongly that women lack the confidence that we need in this day and time. Everyone is seeking validation from expensive things like heels and handbags and hair weaves, or other women and other men. I just feel that I would like to see that over. I do it because it's my job. I don't do it because I believe that it makes me who I am. I know that comes from within."

It's obvious that she has a feminist outlook on life, and it's also obvious she is rather reluctant to be called (or call herself) a "feminist." Saying "I don't know," and "I'm not a Nazi with it" makes her sound defensive. Still, she does say "I'm proudly there" at some point, so let's hang on to that. And do the pretty girl rock.

Pretty Girl Rock: An Interview with Keri Hilson [MyYearbook]



I bump the hell out of Pretty Girl Rock and truly believe that it's one of the most catchiest pop-n-B songs that is out right now, as well as the best Black female pop-n-B video I've seen in the past year. I'll even take it a step further and say that this is the best song that Keri Hilson has ever released (considering that the only other song of hers that I liked was Turning Me On, that's not saying much).

That said, I'm not surprised that she'd backtrack away from referring to herself as a 'feminist', for she, like certain Black women in my generation, mistakenly believes that 'feminism' is a dirty word. It's sad to me that they would rather willingly allow themselves to be pimped out by the Why-Black-Women-Are-Manless charlatans than to embrace feminism and/or own the fact that they are, in fact, feminists.