Pop Culture Intervention

5 Trends In Music That We Want To Continue As Fifth Harmony’s Members Pursue Solo Careers

No. 3: More outspoken women in music.

At A Plus, we're addicted to pop culture, and Pop Culture Intervention brings that obsession to the soapbox. Through this series, we'll recommend what you should be watching, reading or listening to; explore how arts and entertainment affect us; and interpret the important messages contained within various works.

In the span of a few short years, Fifth Harmony went from being a girl group formed on hit music competition series The X Factor to being pop culture juggernauts in their own right. Since then, the group has branched out to let each lady's star shine on its own as well — with the departure of member Camila Cabello being the most notable instance.

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Now, the remaining quartet has announced that they'll be going on an indefinite hiatus so that its members can explore their own solo efforts. The news is, of course, disheartening to fans, but the group's rise also heralded some major changes that we hope will continue as the ladies pursue their solo endeavors.

Here are five things that Fifth Harmony helped bring about in music that we hope to see more of in the near future. 

1. More women represented on the charts.

For some reason, despite big names such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift having released albums in the past two years, the upper echelons of the Billboard albums and singles charts have been a boys club. In fact, in the summer of 2017, both the Billboard 200 and the Hot 100 went more than 30 weeks without a female artist taking the No. 1 spot. Fifth Harmony was able to bust up some of that male domination in 2016 when their single "Work From Home" cracked the top 10 and eventually peaked at No. 4. With the return of big-name artists such as Meghan Trainor, Swift, and even Janelle Monáe, it brings hope that women will continue to make their chart presence felt in the years to come.

2. More girl groups and, therefore, more women being given a (literal) voice in music.

The popularity of girl groups in pop culture has considerably declined since the days of TLC, Destiny's Child, and the Pussycat Dolls. However, Fifth Harmony's success signaled the return of girl groups to the pop charts. In fact, when "Work From Home" climbed into the top 10, it was the first time a girl group had done so in nearly a decade, with the Pussycat Dolls' 2008 hit "When I Grow Up" being the last song by a girl group to achieve the feat. Though we may not see girl groups come into the prominence they once held in the '90s and early 2000s, having more women artists ushering in a whole new era of girl power would literally be music to our ears. 

3. More outspoken women in music.

The ladies of Fifth Harmony have never been shy about speaking their minds. They've been very open about the struggles they've faced as a group in the record industry and how being resilient has helped their success. The group's members have also spoken up about issues near and dear to their hearts — including expressing love and support for their transgender fans, railing against the decision to end DACA, and the experience of living as an immigrant in the United States. As the #MeToo and Time's Up movements continue, we need more women entertainers willing to speak their mind on timely matters, and to stand for their rights and the rights of others.

4. More diversity in music.

Fifth Harmony is perhaps one of the most diverse girl groups to ever exist. The ladies come from diverse ethnic backgrounds, with Polynesian, Mexican, Cuban, and African-American cultures being represented by the group's original five members. In addition to that, group member Lauren Jauregui is openly bisexual and even sang a duet with Halsey about a love affair blossoming between two women. The group's inclusive makeup goes against the typical perception of what a pop star or group looks like, proving that representation does matter. "We like that when girls look at us, they don't see perfect little blond-haired, blue-eyed Barbie dolls," Jauregui said in a 2015 Billboard interview. "We all have different body types and different skin."

5. More shows of support among successful women.

Yes, the abrupt departure of Camila Cabello wasn't exactly handled well. However, the ladies still showed the importance of women supporting one another through their strong bond. When group member Normani Kordei decided to join the cast of ABC's Dancing With the Stars, the group's other members showed her a good deal of support. They even made a special appearance alongside the singer on the show. As for Cabello, even after the fallout, she had nothing but words of support for her former group members. "I'll continue to wish them all the best, and I'm happy they are continuing their journey as Fifth Harmony," she told Seventeen. "I'm also looking forward to hearing new music from the group and their solo endeavors."

Cover image: Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com

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