After seeing so many ‘brown-skinned’ women getting passed over when it comes to being ‘The It Girl,’ Raye Zaragoza channels her own pain of systemic ‘self-hatred’ into a new anthem about acceptance and self-love.
“I could tell I was living in a world / that wasn’t made for brown-skinned girls,” sings Raye Zaragoza at the start of “The It Girl,” the new song from the award-winning singer-songwriter. Against a twangy, psychedelic guitar taken straight out of the 1960s Mod scene, Raye challenges the concepts of what makes and who can be the “It” girl. The song is one part demand for greater diversity and representation in the media, and one part love-letter to all the young women of color trying to find a way to be comfortable in their own skin. Add them together, and you get a groovy, socially-conscious track perfect for pulling down
“Growing up, all I ever wanted to be was the it girl,” Raye tells HollywoodLife. “I thought that meant I needed to be a pretty blonde princess Barbie who met her Prince Charming and rode off into the sunset. This fantasy left me with immense inner turmoil and self-hatred. In high school, I would even lighten my skin with lemon juice, dye my hair lighter, and wear blue contacts. I truly thought that in order to be beautiful, you had to be white.”
“ ‘The It Girl’ is my outcry for diverse representation in media, a plea to throw out the old rule book of western expectations of women,” Raye tells HollywoodLife. “I am proud to be a multicultural brown woman with insecurities and a vibrant intersectional identity that I continue to grapple with. I hope young girls of today will know that the It Girl is whatever the hell they want to be. It’s time we throw the arbitrary social boxes and expectations for women in the recycling bin.”
“The It Girl” is the perfect soundtrack to smashing racist standards of beauty, and it proves Raye Zaragoza is “the It girl.” With a multi-national heritage (she’s Native American and Mexican on her father’s side, Taiwanese and Japanese on her mother’s), Raye offers a perspective sorely missing from the mainstream pop landscape. She first gained national attention in 2016 with “In The River,” a protest song against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The track earned her the Global Music Awards’ 2017 Heretic Award for Protest/Activist Music and an Honesty Oscar. She channeled her socially conscious message into her debut album, 2017’s Fight For You. Earlier in 2020, she released “Fight Like A Girl,” and her highly-anticipated follow-up LP is due later in 2020.
“The It Girl” is out now.