You guys, someone wrote a pop song for US for a change! I'm serious. Lily Allen's new song "Hard Out Here" is the official anthem for moms as far as I'm concerned -- and for any of us who've ever been called a bitch. Oh, you too? Marvelous, Lily's our gal then. Anyway, it's my new theme song. But to get everything out of the song, you should see the video, too.
Our story begins with Lily on the operating table, getting the fat sucked out while her agent tells her Letterman passed and wondering how anyone lets themselves get like this. "Um, I had two babies ..." Lily says. When she gets off the table and pulls off her hospital gown, she's in a body-conscious catsuit -- but on her terms. She looks a lot more like you, me, and the women we know than the ladies of the Daily Mail's "Lost the Baby Weight!" Femail column.
You're not a size six
And you're not good looking
Well you'd better be rich
Or real good at cooking
You should probably lose some weight
'Cause we can't see your bones
You should probably fix your face
Or you'll end up on your own
And it goes on like that. She singing about what it's like to be a female pop singer in the world of young, sexy Mileys and Rihannas. (By the way, Janelle Monae sings about this all the time, in her own way, and you should do yourself a favor and check out her new album The Electric Lady.) It's not enough to be creative and talented. You also need to be hot, and you have to twerk. In the video she's surrounded by dancers twerking in slow motion -- obviously it's satirical. But Lily says she actually tried to do her own twerking.
If I could dance like the ladies can, it would have been my arse on your screens; I actually rehearsed for two weeks trying to perfect my twerk, but failed miserably. If I was a little braver, I would have been wearing a bikini too, but I do not and I have chronic cellulite, which nobody wants to see. What I’m trying to say is that me being covered up has nothing to do with me wanting to disassociate myself from the girls, it has more to do with my own insecurities and I just wanted to feel as comfortable as possible on the shoot day.
Oh God, can you imagine? So we're all glad we're not in the entertainment biz. But you know, it's not just Lily's world. I think we can all relate to this pressure -- I know I do, anyway. Ginger Rogers used to say she did everything Fred Astaire did only backwards and in heels. I'm grateful for the opportunities women have now, but those opportunities definitely haven't been offset via less pressure to be ALL and EVERYTHING everywhere else: Skinny, beautiful, nice, a great mom, an excellent home manager, sexy, and never bitchy about any of it. Never not ever that.
More from The Stir: Lily Allen Welcomes a Baby Girl & Her Name Is Incredibly Adorable
Anyway, my point is, you don't have to be a singer to relate to this song. It's hard out here for a bitch -- for all of us trying to make it in whatever we're doing. That doesn't mean we're dropping out, or that "someone" needs to "fix it" for us, or that I'm going to stop doing my hair and makeup because screw the world's standards for beauty. It's just that pointing out that it's hard is cathartic. It needs to be said. And it feels even better when we all say it together.
WARNING: NSFW VIDEO! SWEARS AND SLOW-MO SHAKING ASSES.
Do you feel like women live with more pressure than men do?
Image via Lily Allen/YouTube