NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, December 11, 2015, 12:56 PM
Taking issue with girl squads, academic Camille Paglia called Taylor Swift a “Nazi Barbie” in an essay in Thursday’s The Hollywood Reporter.
Paglia, 68, particularly hates the endless selfies of the squads she calls “girly and a bit bourgeois.”
She reserves her most pointed rhetoric for Swift.
“In our wide-open modern era of independent careers, girl squads can help women advance if they avoid presenting a silly, regressive public image — as in the tittering, tongues-out mugging of Swift’s bear-hugging posse,” she writes.
“Swift herself should retire that obnoxious Nazi Barbie routine of wheeling out friends and celebrities as performance props,” she adds.
Paglia urges women to support one another and wonders if squads are fostering a new era.
“Do girl squads signal the blossoming of an idealistic new feminism, where empowering solidarity will replace mean-girl competitiveness?” the professor and feminist writes.
Paglia takes a quick trip through Hollywood feminist history, noting Helen Reddy’s 1972 anthem, “I Am Woman” and the 1985 Aretha Franklin/Annie Lennox hit, “Sisters Are Doin’ it for Themselves.”
She gives kudos to the Spice Girls for their “sex-positive third-wave feminism with their 1997 manifesto “Girl Power!” and then takes on the other reigning queen of song.
“Beyonce flashed “FEMINIST” in giant letters behind her, but questions were raised about the appropriation of that word by a superstar whose career has always been managed by others, first her parents and now her domineering husband, Jay Z,” Paglia writes.
Paglia advises women in Hollywood to aim higher.
“For women to leave a lasting mark on culture, they need to cut down on the socializing and focus like a laser on their own creative gifts,” she notes.
In her author note, Paglia says, “Writing about Taylor Swift is a horrific ordeal for me because her twinkly persona is such a scary flashback to the fascist blondes who ruled the social scene during my youth.”