After several tough months at work and trying to keep my head above water with school, I was so looking forward to checking out of life for a few hours and going to see Carly Rae Jepsen at The Grove in Anaheim. Since I don't live under a rock, I was familiar with the pop princess's 2012 smash "Call Me Maybe," but last fall a good friend of mine raved about Jepsen's sophomore album EMOTION, so I had to check it out.
And I loved it. The album is just pure fun. It's 80s pop, break up/make up songs galore, and totally underrated. I was super excited to see her live.
To be honest, I was really surprised by who my fellow concert goers were and how Jepsen and her music related to them. Apparently, I had been living under a rock and didn't know that Jepsen is an advocate for gay rights and has a HUGE following of gay fans. So I was rocking out as a single white female (I went to the concert by myself) with a slew of gay men and their boyfriends who could dance better than I could.
I thought it was ironic, considering we had just discussed the masculinity vs. femininity qualities in class. Jepsen is a straight pop artist who's singing about heterosexual love and relationships. She's never been heavily sexualized in the media. Her music has always been about emotion, fun, dance, and self actualization. Comparing her to the list of things we came up with for femininity, she doesn't match up, especially now that she's cut her hair short and showed up for her concert fully clothed. She didn't wear stilettos, she didn't wear pink, she was neither a sex kitten nor an ice princess, and although she had a band of boys...that girl owned the stage.
The men I was dancing next to didn't match up to our masculinity list either. And they were so completely diverse within the gay community. There was virtually an even amount of white gents and gents of color. There were a lot of interracial couples. There were guys in tight shirts with muscles and guys with big bellies wearing Carly Rae T-shirts. They danced with hands in the air and cuddled and swayed during slow songs.
The only thing screamed toward the stage was "We love you, Carly" There was no "you're so hot," "I wanna marry you," or "you're so sexy." It was just a bunch of people from all walks of life and different representations of masculinity and femininity singing and dance to music we all loved.