While the Grammys often come under blame for acting as a mere popularity contest, at least this year they afforded us some amazing female performances . . . and even some awards to back it up.
For instance, Beyoncé with her three wins now holds the most Grammys of any female artist (28). In addition, two entire categories, Best Rock Performance and Best Country Album, nominated all women. These categories, of course, are notorious for male domination. Finally, the top categories (Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist) all awarded women.
The 2021 Grammy telecast might have been a strange hodgepodge of intimate performances, artist collaborations, large-scale productions, and a constant guessing game of who lip synced and who didn’t . . . but one performance really stole the show.
Why Meghan Thee Stallion is an Icon
With three trophies in the bag, Meghan Thee Stallion graced the stage for a fabulous medley of her hits and a live performance of “WAP” with Cardi B. It is mesmerizing watching Meghan Thee Stallion Perform as she gives absolutely no f***s. She’s bold, she’s beautiful, she’s extremely talented (she can sing, dance and rap with such ease), and exudes confidence. This power she carries with her as she walks across the stage is so refreshing. Here is a woman in control of her body, and no one can say anything about it. It’s honestly inspiring, and embodies a sort of reclamation of sex in a genre notorious for sexualizing women.
Her performance, and Meghan herself, serves as a role model for our generation and beyond. Vulgarity and sexual freedom is not just for men.
I want everyone –girls especially– to watch Meghan Thee Stallion, see her command of the stage and think to themselves that they can do it too. This performance became a pinnacle moment among this large political spectacle. And yes, the Grammys are inherently political. When it comes down to it, they decide who is represented, whose voices are elevated and whose aren’t. Meghan Thee Stallion using this platform, this space, as a Black woman is what this world needs.
Watch the performance here:
Meghan Thee Stallion is an icon in every sense of the word. Recording amidst pursuing a college degree, this “Best New Artist” is only 26 and already taking the world by storm. Whatever backlash the WAP performance might get is not enough to overshadow the powerful display, and statement, these women made to help de-stigmatize the notion that women should be free to talk about their sexuality, and even be “vulgar.”
It’s no longer an excuse to silence female and BIPOC female voices when popular music and culture has been sexualizing women since the start. These women are embracing the erotic instead of hiding behind it, and that is so important. In accordance, it was invigorating to see that the WAP performance was the largest-scale production of the night. It not only highlights these ladies, but embraces their power to impact our society on such a large, cultural platform.
Performing WAP even in its censored version is a mark of women having greater control over their sexuality and a budding acceptance for women to openly speak about it (which for so long has been rendered taboo). The moment where Meghan Thee Stallion and Cardi B cross legs on this giant bed is by conventional standards scandalous, but in my book, it’s making history and it’s setting important markers for future performances.
There are so many highlights from that performance alone (I mean the huge stiletto, those two outstanding tap dancers) and even more from the night as a whole. What were your favorite Grammy moments? Was it Brittany Howard with her breathtaking rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone or Doja Cat and her futuristic delivery? Or HER’s speech when she accepted the award for “I Can’t Breathe”?
These are only a portion of the standout moments of the night. Regardless of how you feel about the Grammys, and their flawed selection system, they did deliver on giving some ladies much deserved air time and recognition. We can only hope for better, on all fronts, in the future.