Little Mix strips down in their new album of feminist music that promotes body positivity


Grace Vespa

British girl group Little Mix dropped their fifth album on Nov. 16 titled “LM5.” Their music has consistently promoted body positivity, friendship, and feminism, but this new album takes their message to a whole new level, with what fans are calling a fresh and innovative sound.

Their first single, “Woman Like Me,” features Nicki Minaj and begins right after the first track “The National Manthem.” The lyrics “Could you fall for a woman like me?” are repeated throughout the song, showcasing their purposeful disregard of traditional passive gender roles. Their lead single is a feminist ode to all women who always say what they’re feeling and are unapologetically themselves.

The fourth track and second single “Strip,” featuring Sharaya J, embraces body positivity to the fullest extent. The lyrics from the pre-chorus, “Finally love me naked, sexiest when I’m confident,” embraces all parts of your body, including the ones you can’t change. The music video shows the group in black and white getting increasingly frustrated as they become covered in makeup and hair products. Other women of various skin tones, shapes, and sizes are shown with the group; they are loving every part of their bodies, including their stretch marks, next to a wide shot of Little Mix covered with judgmental words inked into their skin. All the women are embracing their truest selves, loving themselves confidently, regardless of other people’s judgment.

Their next single, “Joan of Arc” promotes confidence from within – with the opening lines, “I make myself feel sexy, fan of myself, I’m stanning myself.” The chorus demonstrates the power of womanhood, with lyrical references to: “Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, Queen of Hearts,” all powerful women with strong personalities. Similar to “Joan of Arc,” their tenth track keeps the theme of being an independent and strong-minded woman. “Wasabi” is about those that criticize Little Mix for their actions, clothing, looks, or whether they’re going to break up. The lyrics “love to hate me, praise me, shame me, either way, you talk about me,” make it clear that they don’t care about the negativity surrounding them, or the critics taunting them.

Songs “Love a Girl Right” and “Told You So” are about the power of sisterhood and an ode to their long-lasting friendship. Both songs highlight that a relationship with a significant other is “never gonna love you” like a strong and pure friendship will.

Their last track “Woman’s World” ties together every feminist song on the album and creates a powerful concluding anthem. In this song, all the women preach about being comfortable and sexy with themselves. The women talk about knowing their worth and never being ashamed of self-ownership. The chorus, “if you never shouted to be heard…you ain’t lived in a woman’s world,” emphasizes the sexism and discrimination women face. In an article from Noisey, Little Mix stated that the theme of this song was inspired by their anger and outrage from the #MeToo movement, and they wanted to “write things that are slightly more honest.”

In an article from RTE, Little Mix admitted they have battled with powerful men in the music industry over “what we want to do and how things should be done.” Little Mix sticks together, and as a result, they are able to speak up for themselves to ensure that their brand is treated as seriously as any guy group might be. Their newest album is a creative representation of “four strong women who have opinions,” despite the sexism they face on a daily basis.

The body positive movement seems to be making waves in positive female culture. Many media outlets and brands are promoting female representation and inclusion – “body positivity is more relevant than ever,” according to Well and Good. However, Victoria Secret has recently come under fire for their exclusion of plus-sized and transgender models. The Pace Press recently reported that Ed Razek, the Chief Marketing Officer of Victoria’s Secret’s parent company, made remarks that plus-sized and transgender people are not used as models because “they were not deemed to be part of the company’s ‘fantasy’ standards.” On the other hand, Dove and Arie’s body positive marketing campaigns feature authentic women – posed and made up naturally – of many different skin tones, shapes, and sizes, in comparison to the typically thin and fit models of the runway. Little Mix’s new album clearly promotes this shift in self-love and sisterhood with fresh beats and catchy tunes.

The group, consisting of Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jade Thirlwall, formed in 2011 on the eighth season of “The X Factor UK,” and they have been group mates and best friends since. They were the first group to win the competition and signed with Simon Cowell’s record label Syco Music. They released their debut album “DNA” in 2012 and peaked at the top ten in various countries, making them the first girl group since the Pussycat Dolls to reach the top five in the US. In 2013, their second album “Salute” debuted at the top ten in the UK and US, and their fourth album “Glory Days” in 2016 was the first long-reigning number one album in the UK since the Spice Girls’ debut album. Additionally, they have won several awards during their musical career, including Best British Single for “Shout Out to My Ex” at the 2017 Brit Awards, and achieved four platinum-certified albums.

Some fans were worried that they would break up like Fifth Harmony or One Direction, two high-profile musical groups that began around the same time and recently dissolved, but their new album proves that they are stronger than ever and confident as ever. The Little Mix girl group is spreading love and sharing positivity in this latest installment of their music.