Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Brand Slam: Fergie, We Hardly Know Ye!

In October 2006, Rolling Stone featured Fergie from Black-Eyed Peas on their cover. Notice her tiara is askew. They put it succinctly, "Good Girl Gone Wild" and everything about Fergie was true-to-brand. She was tough. She was edgy. She was as bad as the bad boys in her rappy-rough Black-Eyed Peas boy gang band. Guys liked that, but so did us girls! We liked her tough, sexy womanly ways.

Her songs were "on message" -- songs like SHUT UP and SEXY and MY HUMPS and DON'T LIE -- and that message was, "this grown-up girl don't take any guff from any guy."

But something happened along the way. Something went terribly wrong. Someone steered Fergie in the opposite direction. Someone decided Tough Chic Fergie should become Pampers Fergie ... they turned her into some big blubbering baby. She went from tough to toddler in two seconds.

Some dopey management team actually thought we all wanted to see her turn into a cutesy wootsy girly girl. Yuck. Someone thought "Big Girls Don't Cry" was cute! Look at the video like an anthropological study, notice the middle verse where she's a grown woman baby-stepping around pigeon-toed looking like she's lost her lolly. Very embarrassing. Lyrics like, "And I'm gonna miss you like a child misses their blankie ..." Yikes. Ironically, the lyrics say "it's time to be a big girl now ..." but demonstrate the opposite. She should be singing "it's time to be a big baby now."

Did they honestly sit down one day, in some office in Burbank or Culver City or Santa Monica and say, "Well, her tough girl sexy image is working so well, let's destroy it and turn her into Daddy's Little Girl" -- I mean, did they? And no one said, "maybe this isn't such a great idea" and tried to stop it.

It IS the music business. I hope they were simply on drugs. Because in one fell swoop she left the ranks of tough girl singing sensations like Gwen Stefani, Beyonce, Pink, Avril Lavigne, Madonna, Shakira, Rhianna, and Tina Turner behind to end up wandering around like a little lost girl at the mall.