Monday, July 28, 2008

Moving beyond "the Box" - A fight with conforming

Heaven Sent - Keyshia Cole

So I have fallen in love with this Keyshia Cole song and video, and I just need to admit it. I believe in honesty and transparency and from time to time I can be a little snobby about my taste in stuff. I don't want what everybody has, and I truly don't want to respond to the society hand fed meal of what you should have, buy and like...I fight it all of the time.

I had this experience with perfume lately too. I saw a fragrance by P. Diddy (Unforgivable Woman) and I rolled my eyes. Then, I smelled the perfume and was mad about it - I thought it was just beautiful. Largely because I have 3 children and I think our media obsessed society (with a jones for fame and creating entertainment icons) is bad for the soul. I try to teach the kids to have their own style and taste and to ignore what the media says you have to have. I am recovering from a mutual love of all things formulaic - but lately my guard is down.

A few weeks ago I listened to this song and decided I was having a Mary J moment. I didn't start truly listening to MJB until I was good and grown and now, I'm a big unapologetic fan. Same for Keyshia, who shares a name with my sister, and I can't help thinking about her every time I hear her music or songs. When I first started hearing about her - I shook my head and thought about all of the women in RB/Hip Hop with forgettable careers. I have been saddened, both by their music, image and plastic surgery.

I tell myself I really don't care for the Pop Princess antics of our society, which tell us the type of music and people we should like. But, I'd be lying if I didn't check out the blonde hair on Keyshia and I just started experimenting with highlights. (I'm dang near 40.) I fight against too much megahit enthusiasm from Disney, High School Musical and Camp Rock to ensure that my daughter has some images before her that are reasonable. As Christians, we find some songs we like and try to ensure our children are surrounded by life affirming lyrics. But... I've also had to introduce KeKe Palmer, The Cheetah Girls and Raven to ensure that Miley doesn't take over the thought processes of an otherwise wonderful little lady. Here's where it gets a bit tricky though...I'm liking a few of the things that are mainstream and the lyrics to Heaven are just one example.

That being said, I hope Keyshia Cole has more songs that grown adult women can sway to without being boxed into a hiphop era which is uninspiring at best. I have always been a little slow and methodical about my music taste - but I admit this one threw me for a loop. All the radio favorites I can skip, I think Keyshia was singing out of the box with this choice. I purchased this single and a few others from Itunes, and I'm just living with that decision as I realize "they" the mediagods, got me. As for Unforgivable Woman, I'm still spraying my testers...but I just might have to move beyond my box, and buy a bit of that too.

No comments: