Diva Talk

04.20.13

The Rise of Extreme Lady Singers

Male singers get away with just a good voice, while women must be triple- or quadruple-threats.

Justin Timberlake made headlines with a plain old suit and tie, but Lady Gaga had to don a meat dress to do the same. Hannah Weintraub at RH Reality Check asks why that’s the case. “More often than not,” she says, “even the girl who can sing and play must have just the right look and just the right expression of gender, and also a touch of crazy, in order to make waves.” Aptitude is not enough, she says, in an entertainment industry where we pay more attention to rehab cases and the latest celebrity embarrassment (hello, Amanda Bynes) than break-out talent. What’s more, women artists can’t get by on just a good voice, they must also be good dancers and even acrobats (see Pink’s latest performance in Paris). Male artists, on the other hand, can sing their songs, show up for concerts on time, and “wear everyday clothes and still do fine on the charts.” So when will a majority of female singers be taken seriously, instead of getting treated like sideshows in a circus?