Little Mix defending themselves doesn't discredit their feminism

31 October 2018, 09:40 | Updated: 1 November 2018, 09:50

By Sam Prance

It's time to stop dragging Little Mix down with your respectability politics...

Last night, Little Mix found themselves in the midst of Cardi B and Nicki Minaj's feud. It all started when Nicki brought up her altercation with Cardi B at New York Fashion Week on Queen Radio. Nicki claimed that Cardi was hit by Cardi's former Love & Hip-Hop star Rah Ali at the event. Cardi then went on to Instagram to accuse Nicki of lying in multiple videos and brought up Little Mix in the process.

In a series of digs at Nicki, Cardi claimed that the record-breaking girl group asked her to feature on 'Woman Like Me' before Nicki. "That 'Woman Like Me' record. I had to decline it because I'm doing a lot of pop records." She then said: "That came to me first and then they give it to you." Cardi followed this up by playing a version of the track she was sent with a blank verse without Nicki on it.

Little Mix in the 'Woman Like Me' music video
Little Mix in the 'Woman Like Me' music video. Picture: YouTube

The internet then went into pandemonium so Little Mix took to Instagram to set the record straight. The girls wrote: "We just want to clarify... Nicki was approached first," alongside a statement saying "sorry Cardi hun but this is the tea we've always wanted the Queen," a screenshot of a message proving their point, and a montage of the times they've said they want to work with Nicki.

Little Mix actually asked Nicki to feature on 'Woman Like Me' all the way back in July 2017.

The message divided fans. Some people supported the group for clearing things up, others dramatically began asking if the post discredited Little Mix's feminism. Just one look at social media and there are countless tweets calling out the girls. For what though? Is the response impulsive and a little bit messy? Sure. It could have been phrased a lot better. Is it wrong though? No.

Just a few of the tweets criticising Little Mix.

Jesy, Jade, Leigh-Anne and Perrie were literally just defending themselves after being brought into a feud they were never a part of. Anyone who follows Little Mix will know that Nicki has been their dream collaborator since they were formed. Not only that but it's common practice in the industry for singles to be sent to multiple potential feature artists before one is chosen.

Little Mix just wanted to assert the fact that they approached Nicki first for the single. To be clear, the band have never said anything bad about Cardi B. In an interview with Kiss this month, the girls were asked about Cardi and they said "We love Cardi B" and that they would "100 thousand percent" work with her.

Little Mix have since expressed their respect for both artists in a tweet.

As a girl group in 2018, Little Mix can't win. They're either criticised for not speaking up enough or they're scolded for saying something wrong. Of course it's important that we acknowledge when celebrities are problematic but cancelling a girl group for sticking up for themselves achieves nothing. These conversations deserve nuance and stan culture doesn't make room for that.

Little Mix are far from perfect but they're the first to admit it. The lyrics of 'Woman Like Me' literally address that. Jesy opens the song singing: "I always say what I'm feeling, I was born without a zip on my mouth" and the pre-chorus goes: "I made a few mistakes, I regret it nightly." Part of feminism is owning up to your flaws and growing, which Little Mix continue to do.

In a recent interview with Noisey, Jade opened up about how the girls used to avoid speaking up. “We were scared to say the wrong thing, basically. We didn’t want to talk about something if we felt we weren’t truly educated in it. But there’s a change that comes with age, and also learning more about what’s going on in the world."

Over the past seven years, Little Mix have started to address things such as women’s rights, LGBTQ+ issues and Black Lives Matter. Hearing Jade dedicate 'Secret Love Song' to the LGBTQ+ community at every concert means so much. Seeing Leigh-Anne remind black girls that their natural hair is beautiful is so important.

Leigh-Anne's post encouraging young black girls to love their natural hair.

Little Mix may not always get things right (like all popstars, they're only human) but they use their platform for so much good alongside all of their amazing bops. They aren't flawless but their feminism is real and sticking up for themselves in a feud doesn't negate it.

Since last night's drama, Nicki and Cardi have called a truce on social media. Cardi is now Number 1 on Apple Music in the US with her new hit 'Money' and Little Mix and Nicki are Number 1 on Spotify in the UK with 'Woman Like Me'. All three of them are thriving.

Well hello! Let's celebrate that.