Friday, March 14, 2008

hayley williams = worst. role model. EVAR.

[bad hair, bad skin, bad look. why do eems want to make out with her?]

Paramore's lone visibly interesting (i.e. the non-ugly guy) member Hayley Williams is probably one of the worst female role models ever. Now before you go off on some "Oh you wacky Asian, you don't know what you're talking about..." type shit, let's examine the facts:

1. I was raised by a single mom for pretty much my entire adolescent life.

2. I have a daughter.

3. Being raised by a single parent in the Asian-American community (with its ultra-conservative values, especially in the 1980s) pretty much trumps whatever type of suburban, faux riot grrrl bullshit you can throw my way (and I don't mean you, Kathleen Hanna).

That said, Williams' recent interview with Rolling Stone shows that not only is she an unfit role model for young girls everywhere, but that she's kinda dumb. Don't believe me? Here are some of homegirl's quotes:

"I don't know too much about guns. I want to get a little revolver, and the guys have shotguns, but all I know is that it's fun to be a little hillbilly sometimes. I mean, you grow up in the country and everyone's got a gun."

Awesome, just awesome. Hey, I don't have problem with people owning guns (unless they have children around them, which always ends badly) but owning a gun for the sake of owning a gun (and making it seem like you're less American if you don't) seems a little stupid. This is a pretty bad look considering all the public shootings (i.e. Virginia Tech, the high school in Illinois, the Tacoma Mall hostage situation, etc.) that have been going on.

"I'm not really into female vocalists, at least not in our world right now. I don't think I would ever listen to our band, honestly. I love our music."

So she hates female singers, but not in "our world." Earth? So you hate all girl singers? Clarity, Hayley, clarity! I'm assuming she means in the pop-punk-emo-Warped Tour genre. In that case, I can think of a slew of other bands that are much better: Dance Hall Crashers, Meg & Dia, The Rentals (which is technically fronted by Matt Sharp, but the Hayden sisters do play a pretty big part), The Catch, Schoolyard Heroes, Ginger Sling, The Gossip, Tegan & Sara, Walls of Jericho, Spark is a Diamond, I need to go on?

"The first real show that I think I ever went to was Copeland...."

Okay, that is just fucking sad.

As you can see from these choice quotes alone, Williams isn't really the best ambassador and while she does represent a minority in an insanely popular genre, she's not really offering up anything other than a false sense of empowerment. Even the video for the whore-warning anthem, "Misery Business," still shows Williams glamed up to take down the school's resident beyotch. Williams only spits the kind of waned, generic "you-go-girl" rhetoric that Gwen Stefani tacked on during the end days of No Doubt.

There have been plenty of stories that relayed young girls who are into the pop-punk scene who look at Williams as something of a demigod, yet they also buy the same records that (inadvertently) slam women. And at the end of the day, Paramore's hit sophomore release, "Riot," isn't that different from the likes Dashboard Confessional or Fall Out Boy, which -- at the most minimalist level -- can be considered misogynist.

But, kids are still going to buy their shirts and support this band that have absolutely nothing to offer in both music and message. The only solace I have is that they really won't mean anything to anybody in a few years.

[Recommended Reading:]
Jessica Hopper: Emo: Where the Girls Aren't

[Bonus Videos]:

Dance Hall Crashers, "Mr. Blue"

Bikini Kill, "Don't Need You" (Live)

Walls of Jericho, "There's No I in Fuck You"

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At 10:27 AM , OpenID ohsnap188 said...

i'm not going to try and fight your opinions but give the girl a break.
your going to start off saying that she's a bad role model because of bad skin and hair?
guns i can see anyone being uneasy about but that was just the community she was raised in and you were raised differently. and maybe she doesn't enjoy listening to another females vocals because thats just not what she enjoys, that doesn't make her a bad role model.

At 3:15 PM , Blogger ryan said...

while i appreciate your comments, my point is that she has a platform to really address issues about being a female in a male-dominated subculture, but other than mentioning that she's lusted over, she doesn't really do anything else. as a person who used to play in hardcore bands, i can say that i did use my position to address the fact that there weren't people of color in a subculture heavily populated by white kids. it's about breaking stereotypes and saying something different and not just being a pretty face.

At 6:35 PM , Blogger Toast said...

HA! So this made me laugh :3

I thought you presented your ideas well enough, but the problem is all of your support is pretty whack ;]

Let's start with the guns. First of all, 37% of the American population own a gun. Big deal. Does that mean that 37% of the population are going around shooting up a storm? No, silly, it doesn't! That's like saying owning a light means you'll commit arson.

So then there was your point about her music. I'm not gonna lie, I'm not all that into female vocalists either. That's not to say I don't respect the Hell outta them, though. [Janis Joplin, anyone?] Besides, not every female-fronted band can be like Bikini Kill: there doesn't have to be a resounding message behind the music.

ALSO! It's not cool to diss people's music taste, buddy ;] I mean, my first concert was Brittney Spears. So shoot me ;]

And it shouldn't really matter who these girls are looking up to as long as it isn't some sort of rockstar cliche. I mean, she's not as bad of a role model as, say, Ian Curtis, Kurt Cobain, or even soem of the singers in other Warped Tour favorites. [Fat Mike and Bert McCracken, maybe?] Just let them have their moment. Hayley represents the place they all want to get to. I mean, really, what girl following pop-punk doesn't want to end up like her?

So yeah.
I'm done XD

At 6:37 PM , Blogger Toast said...

Oh, and by the way, Meg & Dia and Tegan & Sara share a lot of the same audience as Paramore XD

At 2:50 PM , Blogger chase_1991 said...

Dude, you are a loser. I've hung out with Hayley Williams multiple times. Why did you chose a (bad pic) for her profile description? She's gorgeous. Not for me, but still beautiful. She is sweet, funny, and really cool to be around. I love her music. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but I think yours are just based on your want for attention.

Anyone want to reply, or add, here's my Myspace.

At 11:12 AM , Blogger Zach Morin said...

Shut up. Please? Thanks.

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At 2:06 PM , Blogger Brea said...

... nobody gives a fuck that you're Asian dude... seriously.
That has NOTHING to do with the point that hayley is better than you.

deal with it.

You're fucking dumb.
the end.


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