I am going completely out of my comfort zone; I am doing a crowdfunder for my next music video. Being an unestablished/ unsigned musician, this is terrifying and I don’t expect to make a penny, so I thought I would write a blog explaining why I am doing this. Hopefully, everyone knowing the context will make this as effective as can be.
We are sisters, mothers, daughters, friends and lovers. There is so much more to us than what we are so wrongly often defined by. We are not just our layer of skin.
The video will challenge the shallow portrayal of women in the media, art and other influential outlets. It will celebrate the mind and substance behind women.
I am a 25 year old woman and the pressure on me and my fellow females to look a certain way is immense. It isn’t just annoying, it is dangerous. People are getting ill because of it. People die because of it.
The pressure is everywhere and I know so many people who have been affected – and those people are not shallow. It’s normal to want to look our best, and natural to want to be attractive (it’s part of how we continue as a species!) but our insecurities are being played on by people who want to make money. It isn’t ok. It’s dangerous and it’s subtle.
The project is so important to me because I have struggled in the past with pressure to be perfect, and I still do. I was completely taken in by the need to look a certain way and for a short while I was ill because of it. This is not uncommon in the slightest, and in an age where we are bombarded with images of perfection, it’s so totally to be expected. It has become normal to compare ourselves to the ‘best’ and most selected parts of people’s lives.
I am no longer embarrassed or ashamed by all of the emotions, being so ‘weak,’ and surrendering to how this pressure made me feel.
Just writing this song helped me face the whole thing head on and I began standing up to the industry. Then, I was performing the song and saw how many people felt the same. I saw how hard the words hit women and how angry they got when they were confronted with the reality of a situation which has become so ingrained in us a society.
The video is for every woman who has ever felt ashamed because they don’t look how the media says is right. There are still, and probably always will be, people who buy into that image as I did in my late teens and early twenties. I am tired of our vulnerabilities being exploited and want to start focusing my own art on what people should really be valued for. Even if one person decides to screw the system and feel better about themselves then I would have succeeded.
I should explain why no men are involved. I believe men experience the same insecurities; the same issues are relevant to them. I also believe the sexualisation of women can have an extremely negative effect on men in many ways.
People often associate feminism with men hating, or blaming. I don’t believe that and certainly don’t want to be associated with that notion. I have the best male figures in my life and think that our issues are just as important as each other’s, but they are different. I can’t speak for issues I haven’t experienced. I am first and foremost an artist and the whole project came from something I wrote. This song has come from the heart; it is completely personal. It would feel insulting and definitely arrogant to assume I can speak for people whose experiences I haven’t shared. They may be the same, similar, but who knows? It’s as simple as that.
I didn’t realise the project would come to this when I wrote the song. Deep down I hoped to take it further, but I wasn’t sure if I had the confidence to do it. I have to thank everyone who has helped me so far and the unbelievable enthusiasm from people taking part.
I’m working with Davide from 316 Queens, the same director from my last video for ‘Endless Soul’ (he is amazing!) and when I pitched the concept to him his first reaction was ‘this is an important message, let’s turn this into a positive project.’ Every reaction since has been similar, especially from the women I have asked to be involved. Their enthusiasm is what has inspired me to taking it further and I will be forever grateful!
The kickstarter is necessary; I am unsigned musician which is the furthest thing from lucrative. The budget has come to £700. Rewards will be listed on the crowdfunding website. Ultimately you will be helping to change the way women see themselves and reassess their value. You’ll be helping to bring attention to an issue that affects millions of women every day. I am hoping to bring positivity out of this project and would be so grateful to anyone who can help me and the team do that.
Not Her Own is all about empowerment; about having the ability to positively stand up to life’s daily struggles, delivered through the effervescent beauty of Yvonne’s emotive vocals. Yvonne is not only inspired by musical influences such as Nick Cave and Joanna Newsom, but also by poets such as Alfred Lord Tennyson and Edgar Allen Poe, helping to inspire her to write the opening tracks ‘I’m Not This Layer Of Skin’ and ‘The Savages’.
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