Flashback to me at seven years old, rushing to my uncle’s TV after saying hi to him at the door. Cheetah Girls 2 was about to premiere and I didn’t want to miss a second of it. My eyes glued to the screen waiting to hear the first song. The beat starts for “The Party’s Just Begun” and I find myself dancing along with the girls. I loved the Cheetah Girls (and will still dance to their songs ten years later). As a seven year old, I didn’t realize one of the main reasons I was attracted to the Cheetah Girls was their diversity – something that still holds true today.
Sadly, the Cheetah Girls did not last very long. After their break-up, I didn’t have a girl group to obsess over up to the end of middle school. I did have favorite artists like Beyoncé, Adele, Jennifer Hudson, and Demi Lovato. I listened to One Direction, Justin Bieber, and Jonas Brothers, but didn’t latch onto them that much as I did the Cheetah Girls.
[bctt tweet=”As a seven year old, I didn’t realize one of the main reasons I was attracted to the Cheetah Girls was their diversity – something that still holds true today.” username=”wearethetempest”]
Then one magical day, I saw Fifth Harmony’s music video for “Miss Movin’ On” on Disney Channel. No, I did not fall in love with them at that moment. I shrugged them off as some Disney group that wouldn’t last long.
It wasn’t until I was bored on Youtube when “Miss Movin’ On” appeared in the suggestions. I sighed and thought “Oh, why not?” That one click changed everything. The X-Factor girl group kept me up at night, watching their auditions, covers, and interviews. My seven-year old self rose and wasn’t going anywhere – I had found the perfect diverse band to latch on to.
It has been around three years since I have become an addicted to Normani Kordei, Ally Brooke, Lauren Jauregui, Dinah Jane Hansen, and Camila Cabello. During those years, I’ve learned why Fifth Harmony is so important.
1. They’re an incredibly diverse girl group.
If you haven’t noticed, there aren’t many groups out there like Fifth Harmony. We live in a world where we’re brainwashed to believe that Eurocentric features are the only beauty standard, and that people with those features are the most beautiful. So, when you see Fifth Harmony making history as a successful – and diverse – girl group, it makes you think. That representation registers into the minds of diverse kids, encouraging them to stand up for their own unique identities.
2. They’re incredibly successful, even after X-Factor ended.
Sure, some artists and groups (heard of One Direction?) have been successful off of national talent shows like American Idol and X-Factor. Of course, most of them didn’t get first place on those shows. If you ask someone who American Idol’s first place winner was from season 10, they won’t be able to tell you – let alone the one from the first season. Many people, including me, thought that Fifth Harmony wasn’t going to last a year, maybe a year and half tops.
But here we are today, listening to the third place X-Factor winners’ sophomore album 7/27. No offense to the season two winner of X-Factor, but who were they again?
3. Girl Power. No other words for it.
Besides being a group from X-Factor, they are a girl group. In other words, that’s an unfair double standard Fifth Harmony has to face. But don’t fear, they obviously haven’t let that hold them back! Through their music they express girl power for Harmonizers and anyone else willing to sing and dance along. Their songs cover topics like mixed feelings about relationships (Suga Mama and Who Are You), being a confident girl who doesn’t expect anything less than what she deserves (Bo$$), to enjoying the fun of their success (The Life). The Harmonizers embrace these positive songs and find comfort in them. When they see other fandoms enjoying Fifth Harmony’s music they love it (especially if it’s a celebrity).
[bctt tweet=”Fifth Harmony proves that women can be and are complex – and that it’s okay because we’re human. That right there, is promoting girl power. ” username=”wearethetempest”]
4. Their music is as diverse as they are.
It’d be weird if I didn’t bring up what they actually do. Fifth Harmony has love songs, party songs, ballads, and female empowerment songs along with influences outside of today’s mainstream pop. To use their most recent album, 7/27, as an example, All In My Head (Flex) featuring Fetty Wap has reggae influence which makes you start to dance without knowing. R&B influenced Dope lets you know that the girls know how it feels to have a crush and not knowing how to perfectly phrase the right words to say to them. If you love 80’s pop, Not That Kinda Girl featuring Missy Elliott is what you want to check out.
From their ballads, like Write On Me, to their more upbeat songs, like That’s My Girl, Fifth Harmony proves that women can be and are complex – and that it’s okay because we’re human. That right there, is promoting girl power.
5. They’re not all talk – they believe in what they promote.
Fun fact: their music and interviews definitely don’t contradict. They’re willing to openly talk about love, feminism, and other things girls go through, show that they are easy to relate to. Kordei talks about how it’s like being a dark-skinned black girl in a Teen Vogue interview: “I’m the one [who] stands out . . . . I find it to be beautiful now and I have security with myself, and I’m in this position to inspire young black girls and boys to do whatever they want despite their skin color.” They know how it feels to struggle with self-confidence, to try something new, and to want to accomplish dreams.
Who knows what else they have planned for us?!