“Barbie” took this past summer by storm – and with it came a surge in the unapologetic enjoyment of all things girly.
To which we say: Good. Girls and women should be able to enjoy anything. Yes, even if it’s deemed inherently feminine by a society needlessly concerned with categorizing things (and with dismissing “girly” things as trivial or, well, bad) – the pumpkin spice lattes, the rom-coms, the angsty vampire sagas … all of it.
Below, we’ve compiled a playlist of nine fantastic songs that are similarly dismissed the way those other things once were – one that’s perfect for busting out at your next girls’ night. Enjoy them in all their bubblegum glory! (And yes, feel free to rock your previously shameful Ugg boots, too.)
"Party in the USA” – Miley Cyrus
Cyrus has gone through several evolutions as an artist over the years. Yet there has been one constant throughout – the woman is a lifelong natural performer who can sing her face off. That skill set makes it rather easy to churn out catchy chart-toppers like this one.
"Call Me Maybe” – Carly Rae Jepsen
Jepsen is one of the more under-appreciated songwriters of our time. This effervescent 2012 earworm is a perfect example of her skill – it’s light, dancing verses balance perfectly with its big, bright choruses. But also, one needn’t dissect it to enjoy the hell out of it.
"It's Raining Men" – The Weather Girls
Yes, musical taste is a subjective thing. But also, anyone who dismisses this song, or regards it as anything other than stellar, is incorrect in doing so. Powerhouse vocals combine with an early 1980s synth-pop vibe to create a danceable showstopper.
"Wannabe” – The Spice Girls
If you wish to garner the attention of a room full of women, simply yell: “Yo, I’ll tell you what I want – what I really, really want.” This 1990s classic is all about friendship, and the prioritization of your girl crew and its opinions over any male partners you may involve yourself with.
"Unwritten" – Natasha Bedingfield
When it hit the airwaves in the early 2000s, this one became a staple of every female a cappella group’s repertoire. As someone who was in college at the time, I remember that being mocked. But in hindsight, why wouldn’t every group want to rock out to something so joyful and hopeful?
"You Belong With Me” – Taylor Swift
At this point, it seems widely accepted that Swift is both gifted and shrewd. An evocative songwriter and a savvy pop star who is meticulous about every detail of her output. Yet that was true even in her earlier days – the continued success of this song proves it.
"Come On Over” – Christina Aguilera
A gift from the earliest days of Aguilera’s lengthy career, this sleek little bop brings extra flirtatious energy to our girl-groove roundup. (It also convinced us that Crayola-red lowlights were a good call – and for anyone who wants them, we think that’s spot-on.)
"Before He Cheats” – Carrie Underwood
Here, we have a bonafide karaoke classic. Who hasn’t wanted to sing away the hurt of a spurned heart in front of a few of your closest friends, and a few dozen of your nearest strangers? EIther way, everyone will be singing along by the end – it’s too fun to resist.
"Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" – Cyndi Lauper
Were there a physical pantheon for “girly” songs, this one would surely enjoy pride of place at the head of it. It’s the ultimate “allow women to enjoy things” anthem. Let us dance. Let us sing. Let us go out and have fun. Let us play as hard as we work. Let us walk in the sun.