Pop Life

Tweens Shrug Off Influence Of So-Called Slutwave Singers

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Olivia and 17-year-old Ali could probably be BFFs. Ali, who enjoys fencing, writing poetry, hanging out with friends, and "trolling the Internet," didn't hold back on her opinions of today's pop singers. While she names Amy Lee-led Evanescence as her favorite group "because Amy has a great voice and writes her own music," she also appreciates modern pop artists like Katy Perry and Taylor Swift.

"[Perry] has an upbeat personality," Ali says. "She dresses a little inappropriately sometimes, but she's not as bad with that as other singers."

As for Taylor Swift, Ali likes her because "she has a unique style to her music--it's not exactly pop and it's not exactly country... it's kind of in-between." Aware of Swift's considerably more modest style, relative to her counterparts, Ali acknowledges, "She dresses elegant, like she's not trying too hard to look hot."

But Ali puts the brakes on for Ke(Dollar Sign)ha: "She's kind of a poser and a tool," she laughs. "Her pretending to be a slut is just for her 'bad girl' image, and her songs are heavily edited; the singing you hear on the radio is fake!"

Joining Ke(Dollar Sign)ha's bad-company is Miley Cyrus; "At least she can act," Ali credits the ex-Disney star, "But she's coming out of the Disney influence and becoming more risqué, trying to shed that 'pop girl' image... she's trying too hard to act like a 'grown-up,' which to her, means dressing like a slut."

Cyrus' downward spiral reminds Ali of the familiar path of Britney Spears: "I think (Britney) is the perfect example of the danger of being a child star."

While Ali certainly and thoughtfully acknowledges celebrities' media omnipresence, she too claims to be mostly unaffected by their choices.

"I'm sure there is some subconscious influence in the things around me that affect how I dress, but I don't make a conscious effort to dress [like them]," she says. "Most singers today dress very slutty for attention. Most can't do much else besides dance and look good, so it's all for a certain image."

While Ali is quick on the attack, she manages to temper such opinion with compliments where she deems they are deserved: "I respect singers like Amy Lee and Pink because they're 'real' in their work - they don't follow a company image. They're true to themselves."

Ultimately, Rocks Off was amazed not only by the deep thought these young girls put into their responses to our questions, but at their evident overall confidence and awareness that entertainers are just that - people who satisfy entertainment purposes, and are not necessarily there to be personally idolized.

In other words, these kids are sages. So Katy can keep her flame-throwing brassiere and Ke(Dollar Sign)ha can continue rockin' her dumpster-chic duds because, as it turns out, many of today's youth are impervious to being dumbed down by such superficiality.

If this small handful of girls we spoke with is a general indication of the modern tween consensus, that is.

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Neph Basedow
Contact: Neph Basedow