‘Pink On The Inside’ – A Feminist Scholar On Alecia Moore
“The fact that she projects both weakness and strength makes her eminently relatable,” feminist scholar Evelyn McDonnell, who wrote the coffee table book “Women Who Rock: Bessie to Beyonce, Girls Groups to Riot Grrrl,” says of Pink’s appeal. “It’s funny that Pink has had such incredible staying power since from the beginning, she has sung about vulnerability and resiliency – run her over with an ‘18 Wheeler’ and ‘you can’t get me down.’”
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McDonnell, also the director of Loyola Marymount University’s Journalism Department, has spent her career as an academic and a culture critic studying female archetypes and women who exist beyond the stereotypes. To McDonnell, Alecia Moore’s endurance comes from the very aspects of her persona that defy femme marketing in the pop space. “Pink has managed to sustain massive popularity for two decades by being a nonconformist,” she explains. “It’s a rare, beautiful irony that very few artists have achieved – Bowie, Prince, Dolly, Missy.
“People see themselves in her as they would like to be: tough, original, talented, fearless, but sensitive too. They want to turn difficult circumstances into beautiful acts of strength and daring.”
That extends as much to her music as to the perceptual reality Pink projects. “She doesn’t stay stuck in boxes: Punk, R&B, rock, dance, folk, pop. They’re all Pink on the inside. She has an impressive and distinctive voice: the rock rasp of Joan Jett with the range and power of an R&B diva. It’s how she’s managed to outlive the usual shelf-life of pop stars; she has skills.”
McDonnell, who also authored the definitive Runaways’ bio “Queens of Noise,” recognizes the allure of contradiction. “We could be intimidated by her tough girl stance, her ability to hit head on all the notes in her three-octave range, her ability to hit said notes while hanging upside down in the air and turning somersaults. But she’s the kind of artist who makes her audience see themselves up there – even with her pink hair and tatted, muscled physique, because of her punk, misfit persona. She is unapologetically herself, and she makes you feel you can be the same way.
“Persistent, but never boring, She’s like the snow ball that becomes a snow boulder.”