FKA Twigs: “I think this could be my last interview”
Written by Ally Oliver-Perham
FKA Twigs, a London artist well known for her ethereal songwriting and dance performances, has given what she says may be her last interview ever.
And fair enough too. Despite her critical acclaim and status as a contemporary music icon, constantly pushing sonic boundaries within the pop realm, FKA Twigs is still reduced to being some famous dude’s girlfriend.
The Sunday Times (UK) recently published an article which clearly displayed her uncomfortable reaction to persistent and prying questions about her private life. Rather than focusing on her skills as a musician or her artistry as a dancer, the interviewer preferred to grill her about her partner Robb Pattinson, whether or not she’s seen the Twilight movies (she hasn’t), and when she thought they will be getting married. WTF?
FKA responded to this shallow line of questioning by saying, ‘”I think this could be my last interview….I can’t do it. It makes me feel nutty.”’
Unfortunately, rude and sexist interview questions are common for lots of women and girls in the spotlight. Magazines and tabloids tend to consider women based on dot point factoids, like who they’re dating or what they’re wearing, instead of talking about the boss women that they truly are.
Country star turned pop queen, Taylor Swift is no stranger to intrusive questions. She also doesn’t take kindly to critics looking for gossip on her love life. In an interview with the Australian radio show, “Jules, Merrick & Sophie,” Swift was pressed about her songs and their relation to her own IRL romances, and whether that was a valid form of expression.
Swift quickly shut down this tired line of questioning by stating, “Frankly, I think that’s a very sexist angle to take. No one says that about Ed Sheeran. No one says that about Bruno Mars. They’re all writing songs about their exes, their current girlfriends, their love life and no one raises a red flag there.”
The media so often makes women out to be little more than little more than who they’re dating or the brand they’re wearing, whereas men are not treated like that. The fact that women are still being pigeon holed in this way is offensive – and damaging, as these views do filter down into the public consciousness.
Scarlett Johansson, in the lead up to the premiere of the latest Avengers film, was constantly fielding lazy and sexist questions from reporters like – what kind of diet are you on? Who are you wearing? And the ever charming, were you able to wear undergarments [under your action suit]?
Cosmo mag UK took notice, and decided to flip their interview by giving her male co-star Mark Ruffalo all the traditional femme questions, whereas Scarjo was only asked about her character, and all the cool action sequences she got to do. Now this is more like it! (Except all the sexist-femme- diet questions. Let’s just leave those out).
As a society, we’ve reached a point where feminism, and feminist values are becoming mainstream ideas (oh, hullo Beyonce) – so why hasn’t the media got the message? Maybe FKA Twigs has the right idea, and more women should to take part in a mass media black out, Bikini Kill styles?
Or maybe reporters, instead of asking the same old sh*t, should stop and think – would I ask a dude that question? And if the answer is ‘no’, well then, don’t ask a woman either.
And maybe we, as the audience, also need to respect people’s privacy by not sharing or clicking on articles that are banging on about who’s dating who, or who’s wearing what – instead, we should keep sharing stories about women who are taking a stand, stories about girls who are being fearless and powerful. That way, we too can say no to sexism in the media. And maybe then – the media will finally get it.
As one of the co-founders of Rosie, a designer and arts educator, Ally is passionate about youth and creativity. She is constantly making, designing and writing things for Rosie. Ally is addicted to podcasts, wasabi peas and red lipstick. Her dog Scout is widely acknowledged as her spirit animal.
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