In a society where pop stars have as much social infl uence as
politicians, music can offer lesbians an incredible platform. Over
the last two decades, stylized sapphic disruptions have become
standard pop fare, but the majority of these have been manufactured
to titillate audiences rather then advance lesbian visibility.
The Madonna-Britney-Christina kiss at the MTV Video Awards in
2003 was a staged and hollow affair, Russian duo TATU reneged
spectacularly on the lesbian Europop image they flaunted in their
breakthrough single All The Things She Said, and many gay girls
felt that Katy Perry's 2008 chart hit, I Kissed A Girl, was more
offensive then subversive. Artists like Fergie from the Black Eyed
Peas have admitted to "experimenting" with other women, but for the
most part, gay women who turn to pop for authentic reflections of
their own lives find precious little to relate to.
Whilst veteran pop provocateur Madonna and recent newcomer Lady
Gaga have earned iconic infamy by borrowing from queer narratives
in their respective brands of slick, anthemic pop, the women of
rhythm and blues were giving voice to sapphic romance way before
Justify My Love hit our video screens. Now a new generation of
phenomenally successful R&B and rap stars, such as Rihanna and
Nicki Minaj, are following their lead, bringing their own feisty
sapphic identities to today's pop stage.
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