Holly Johnson

aaaSince Lily Allen’s song ‘Hard Out Here’ has been released, I have been interested in the way she portrays women in a positive light and tries to fight stereotyping from men.

Nowadays many songs are written by men who can be negatively biased towards women, for example women can be stereotyped as slutty and as objects as discussed in Hannah Karpinski’s previous post (available here). There have been many songs since Lily Allen’s song which do encourage that stereotype, although other’s reinforce it such as Miley Cyrus who dressed very provocatively at the VMA’s whilst performing on stage with Robin Thicke.

Her title ‘Hard Out Here’, makes you think what could Lily Allen really mean? I think that she is trying to interpret women as being the more dominant sex and we are more outgoing than men really are.

I love the fact that Lily Allen has aimed her song at Cyrus and Thicke at the VMA’s, Allen sings about her refusal to lose weight after the birth of her two children and she mocks the trends for twerking (which Cyrus embarrassingly tried to do whilst performing with Thicke) and autotuned vocals. Although there are issues surrounding her portrayal of race within this (see here).

Robin Thicke boasts about his manly attributes in his Blurred Lines video, and so in Lily Allen’s video she has a set of balloons spelling out “Lily Allen has a baggy pussy”, which is a clearly mocking Thicke’s continuous reference to the size of his manhood.


Lily Allen’s song is really interesting because she tries to put her song across in quite a humorous way. “You’ll find me in the studio and not in the kitchen”, fighting the stereotyping of a woman’s role and shows that women shouldn’t be tied to ‘the kitchen’ as she states that she’ll be in the studio where she creates her music instead of being in the kitchen cooking and cleaning.

Allen tries to show the fact that the media insist that women should be below a size 6 or be really skinny, the lines she uses are really interesting because she gets this point across so quickly and she’s quite witty because she says it in a funny but yet serious way, “You’re not a size six, and you’re not good looking”, “You should probably lose some weight ‘cause we can’t see your bones”.

Lily Allen’s music video is also very engaging because right at the beginning she is getting liposuction and a man says “Need some more out the stomach and then we need to start on the legs”, this is also showing that women NEED to be skinny and have a nice slim figure otherwise they won’t fit in with everyone around them, like the famous celebs so this argues against the prevalent belief.

To sum everything up, I think Lily Allen has written this song in such a strong and powerful yet humorous manner to show that women are a lot more than just people who can cook and clean. We can do every single thing a man can do! But most men find it so odd to see women doing something other than cooking and cleaning.

Lily Allen’s music video:






Holly is a student at Cirencester College currently studying A-levels including English Language, Psychology, Photography and Pre-Teaching. She enjoys taking pictures and she wishes to one day pursue a career as a Primary school teacher!