Gwen Stefani

My girlhood heroine was Gwen Stefani. She was such a powerful voice in such a masculine music scene — skater/ska-punk was heavily dominated by all-male bands like Sublime and The Offspring; it was good to see a girl not only holding her own, but bringing the house down with those strong vocals and her on-stage athletics. Add to that that she was singing songs about what it meant to be a girl in the 90s, how it felt to be told you could do everything but meanwhile you’re being protected and coddled — she summed up what it meant to live in the “postfeminist” era quite nicely with songs like “Just a Girl.” Of course I also dug her crazy clothes and multi-coloured hairstyles. She was never afraid to experiment, or talk or act or look exactly how she wanted. I loved watching her transform herself. She taught me that a girl could be a lot of things, and gave me the courage to be whatever I wanted to be, whenever I wanted to be it. I’ve done a lot of different things in my life, but now I’m finishing my PhD on postfeminism and girl studies, and singing in a band. We cover No Doubt. Obviously.

-Alexandra H.

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