token girl: like a girl, but better

Sunday, 16 November 2003

get your Purse:

Admittedly I was thrilled to see an un-airbrushed, bruised&beautiful newly renamed Brody Dalle on the front of Kerrang’s October 4 issue. It’s not every week that EMAP’s flimsy metal mag has an excuse to photograph a worthy female RAWK st*r for the cover. It’s just a shame that they then have to cheapen the credibility of the main feature, promoting the Distillers’ new album, by noticing that *WOW* there are other women in the industry not making pop music 21 other ladies This predicable selection are patronised in a 5-page spread (how generous), which embarrassedly blows away the cobwebs from the K! photo library’s token girl files (EYE CANdy). Shirley Manson and the Donnas are profiled next to Drew Barrymore and Dita von Teese in an assortment comprising indie-porn pin-ups and writers alongside musicians. The feature simply highlights the cultural anachronism which is women’s too-often-compromised place in the macho metal scene. As long as publications such as K! continue to lazily compile annual ‘women in rock’ issues, women will remain marginalized and discouraged.
Brody herself has prematurely been branded an Icon by a soundbite hungry press.
THE PRESS RELEASE MADE ME DO IT What makes an Icon? one Warner album release, one magazine cover, one marriage, one divorce, one tour…? Is the Icon a made or a found thing? The word has become another pointless clichĂ© for writers to label their subjects with, its meaning diminished through over- and irrelevant use. In Brody’s case, to elevate her into Iconography is to deny her unique voice by valuing her uncompromising image over everything else. Before The Distillers’ single gets any radio airplay objectify her body, film her life story as video for MTV2 (lasting 3 punk rock minutes), use her CD as a coaster and the case as an ashtray.

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