Whether or not you agree with the saying that “image is everything,” you cannot deny the fact that image is a huge topic of discussion in the music industry. With fashion brands taking advantage of collaborations with musicians more than ever before, the importance of having good style is definitely a priority for bands; however, having a great sense of style does not always work in their favor.
Meet Skinny Girl Diet, a three-piece underground band based in London currently making waves with their authentic punk sound and bold, funky fashion sense. Take one listen to their music and you may be transported to that time when you got down with 90s grunge. So you can probably now understand why after discovering this group I immediately became obsessed.
But what surprised me the most about Skinny Girl Diet was not the juxtaposition between their impeccable style and punk sound, but rather finding out in a ClashMusic.com article that they have had to deal with people labeling them as having better style than substance in their music.
My reaction to this statement was more or less like… Are we really trying to have this conversation in 2015?
Delilah Holliday, lead singer and guitar player in the band, sums up the issue perfectly:
“I think society is very looks conscious so, you’ve kind of got to succumb to it, and having a good look is part of what people see before they listen to your music,” offers Delilah. “It is sadly a part of music – what you look like – and if you’ve got a certain style people like that because it’s something new I guess.” (ClashMusic.com)
While I do agree that society is very ‘looks conscious’ and that some situations call for one to succumb to this fact, I still find it disturbing that these even girls have to deal with people questioning their talent based on their excellent sense of style. Discrediting the band and their ability as musicians because they do not have the stereotypical “punk” style is so middle school. What we should be doing is applauding this band for fighting stereotypes by having a no f*cks given attitude and speaking truths like this:
“I don’t think there is a punk way to dress either, I think that’s a common misconception, that punk is a look,” decides Ursula. “It’s like, punk started out as just expressing yourself; if you wanted to look like Marilyn Monroe in the 70’s and go to a Sex Pistols concert you could. I feel like so many people have these lists and tick boxes; just wear what you want and if people chastise you for it, then they’re dumb, it’s how it is.” (ClashMusic.com)
Despite the criticism, these ladies have managed to secure partnerships with designers like Dilara Findikoglu for Findikoglu’s SS16 presentation London Fashion Week, which is huge. Bridging their music and fashion together, they have not only managed to create a unique collaboration that is becoming the new norm for fashion presentations (like Tom Ford & Lady Gaga’s latest collab), but also have opened the door for other girl bands to follow in their footsteps.
I applaud Skinny Girl Diet for continuing to not be bothered with these issues. Rock on girls!