Between Beyoncé's new album and Miley's new everything, there has been a lot of talk this year about the presence of feminism in popular culture. These discussions have also showcased an increasingly wide gap between first, second, and third-wave feminism and more modern iterations that don't necessarily see explicit sexuality, pornography, and female nudity as problems. It seems like what is (or isn't) empowering is becoming such a grey area, that it can only be defined in the words of Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, speaking on the subject of obscenity: "I know it when I see it."
As muddy as this matter seems, we have to say that Sky Ferreira made some pretty powerful statements of her own, in a recent interview for NME. Ferreira has been facing controversy because, aside from her brush with the law earlier this year, the cover art for her new album Night Time, My Time is a topless photo of her in the shower (accompanied by little more than that signature, pouty face). While she acknowledges the value of sex and nudity as a marketing tactic in the industry, Ferreira isn't taking it personally. "Most of the people who had a problem with it were men. At this point, I feel like I'm doing a bad job of being a feminist if I'm not making someone angry."
It's not like she feels no pressure to show her body — in fact, she seems pretty aware of the fact that sex not only sells, but makes headlines. But, according to this interview, she's not necessarily letting that dictate when, how, and why she shows skin. "You're supposed to sell your body in a way that's like… it's OK to be sexy when it benefits everyone else," she explains. And, while that's a vague statement, we think we know what she's getting at: Only a very particular brand and level of sexuality is accepted from women, and often, it needs to be serving very heteronormative goals.
Whether or not this image succeeds in making a point is up for debate (and a shout out to several of you for bringing up some great points in the comments). Essentially, though, Ferreira is just doing her. "But, I'm making art and doing things that are true to my work," she says. "I'm not trying to sell my body. But, it's my body to sell if I did want to!" Game, set, match. (ONTD)