It’s 8am and you’ve made it to the gym. You’ve got your shoes double-knotted and your appropriately chosen sports bra strapped on. You’ve squeezed yourself into some overpriced lululemon leggings. You’ve got your hair back and water bottle filled. You scan the room. You’re ready.
Let’s do this.
You put in your headphones and select a playlist. You’re feeling good. You’re feeling strong.
You press play.
Next thing you know, some asshole is yelling at you to “shake them titties” and “clap that ass” before “sucking that lollipop” like the whore you are.
Feel motivated now? Empowered? Strong? Yeah, you can skip the song—we all do it—and hope for a better draw next time, but how many skips does it take to realize that something just isn’t right with this picture?
The problem is this: If you want a playlist with some grit, some attitude, the assumption is that you are both a) male and b) misogynistic. But the dilemma is twofold: if you want a playlist that is more empowering and woman-centric, you are stuck with Pop Princesses telling you you’re beautiful and strong in peppy little dance numbers. It’s cute, really—and some gals out there may prefer it—but if you’re like me, you’re craving something more.
Here at Literally, Darling, we’ve taken the initiative to put together a playlist for fellow Lady Ragers. This is not your average work-out soundtrack. There isn’t a Kelly Clarkson song to be found, but damn if it won’t give you that swagger needed to kick some serious ass at the gym.
In order to make the cut, every song had to meet each of the following criteria: it had to be performed by a woman, it had to be about topics and issues that women can actually relate to, and the song had to have some serious attitude behind the music. We were looking for songs that said, in spirit, if not in words: “If you mess with me or mine, I will f*ck shit up.”
With its funky irreverence, Kesha’s new anthem, “Woman,” sets the tone right out of the gate. As you can imagine, our girl Queen Bey makes quite a few appearances, as do Rihanna, Missy Elliot, and Nicki Minaj. “Bodak Yellow,” by Cardi B. is one of the few songs that makes the cut from the original Beast Mode playlist. We also found some kick-ass ragers in the music of girl-groups Little Mix and Fifth Harmony. For those craving a taste of the old-school, we included some throwbacks from Hole, Lauryn Hill, and Gwen Stefani. And bringing in the rear, Taylor Swift rounds things out with her infinitely disturbing “Look What You Made Me Do.”
With nearly two and a half hours’ worth of music, the Lioness playlist provides plenty of music for your workouts. And with less time spent skipping unwanted songs, you’ll be able to focus on what really matters: lifting heavy, punching hard, and running fast. Oh, and kicking some serious ass.
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