Teenage girls have taste

Aurora Bryan, Editorial Board Member

What do Elvis Presley, The Beatles, and the Backstreet Boys have in common? Of course, there’s the obvious answer—that they were wildly successful musical acts that left a significant impact on pop culture. However, another similarity is that each of them spent a significant portion of their careers being ridiculed for one simple reason: their main fan base was teenage girls.

Such artists have since been recognized for their musical talents and genius, becoming some of the most renowned and influential artists of all time. And yet, teenage girls’ place in their skyrocket to fame has been ignored and instead, the cycle repeats itself with each new act that comes along. 

Nowadays, if a teenage girl states that she likes Elvis or The Beatles, then she’s trying too hard to be different and has no idea what she’s talking about. But, if she likes One Direction or Shawn Mendes, then she’s basic and has no taste.

This sentiment is also seen in the systematic takedown of young female artists. In the case of artists like Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift they are constantly ridiculed, undermined, and dismissed both for their primarily teenage girl fanbases and the fact that they themselves are young girls. 

The fact of the matter is that people don’t want to admit that teenage girls can have legitimate interests and worthwhile opinions on music. They would rather tear them down than have to recognize that they are intelligent human beings, and the reason behind this is simple misogyny. 

The most common technique used to diminish the appreciation of male artists by teenage girls is the statement, “Oh she just likes them because she thinks they’re attractive.” Not only does this demean the opinion of the girl, but it also invalidates the talents of the artists they like. 

Also, I’m sorry, but since when have attractiveness and musical talent been mutually exclusive? Why can’t someone like an artist because of both reasons? More than that, why does it have to matter why someone likes a particular artist at all? Why do people feel entitled to shame teenage girls for enjoying whatever makes them happy?

It’s time to admit that the music industry is built on the backs of said teenage girls, and that they, more than any other demographic, have the ability to turn an act into an overnight sensation. Instead of ridiculing them, maybe it’s time we recognize them for the driving force they are.