Every month, I'm going to write about one person that inspires me and is helping me become the person that I want to be.
April's inspiration is Paramore's fiesty little lead singer, Hayley Williams.
She's making it
cool to be ginger.
The girl is clearly a legend.
I'm fairly new to the whole "Paramore" phenomenon. I was a casual listener, drawn in by "Misery Business" and "Decode", hooked by the "Brand New Eyes" album. Then I went to see them live.
From the moment they came on stage, I was part of the Paramore Family. And you can't escape from your family.
As every newly obsessed fan knows, you've got an uphill battle to catch up with all of the goings ons of a band that has been around for several years. Luckily, Hayley, Jeremy and Taylor are all amazingly interactive with their fans. From twitter to tumblr, live broadcasts to livejournal, they've basically stormed every form of social networking and used it to chat with their fans.
And it's from her tweets, livejournal updates and tumblr posts that I have quickly discovered just how sweet this woman is.
Look at what she's been through over the past few years, from hackers to break ups, world tours and magazine covers, I think it's an true testament to Hayley that she is able to hold onto her sense of individuality in such an obvious way, rather than conform to the masses of young singers already out there. You don't see her wearing uggs because they are cool. You see her wearing Doc Martens because she loves them.
She's taught me to wear what I want wear, and not what everyone else is wearing just because it is "cool" or "fashionable" at the present moment.
I have huge respect for anyone that decides to be an individual and wear what they want to wear, and not what everyone else wants them to.
I don't care what anyone says: Something worn with confidence is beautiful.
Also, people don't seem to understand that fashion is not universal. It's not timeless. It's personal. We choose what to wear because we like it. Not because someone else has chosen it out for us. That's not fashion. That's just wearing something to please someone. There's a big difference.
"Misguided ghosts" isn't a song that many non Paramore fans will recognise, mainly because it was never released as a single from their Brand News Eyes album (which I never did quite understand, the song is so beautiful). The reason I mention this, is because the song has helped So. Many. People.
A few of their songs have helped people through a number of things: Be it the deaths of family members or friends, messy break ups, depression, confidence issues... you name it, fans have claimed that Paramore is the reason they got through it, and some even say that Paramore is the reason that they stand here today.
I've heard lots of things about "Misguided ghosts" saving people's lives. I'm basically the same. Maybe I wouldn't go as far to say "I would have probably committed suicide if it wasn't for that song" but the four simple words that Hayley sings ("You are not useless") have gotten me through some of the hardest times of my life. So thanks for inspiring so many people to continue living, loving and believing that life gets better.
The thing is, Hayley is aware of the troubling hardships that so many of her fans are going through every day, and acknowledges that Paramore is an escape for them.
"What motivates me is seeing people in the crowd and wondering what they're going home to and what they're dealing with, and knowing that for the time being we're their escape"
Most celebrities don't really take much interest in what their fans are going through, they become lost in the fame bubble, becoming too wrapped up in their own self importance that they do not really understand that the world is burning down at their feet. It appears as though Hayley either has a deep understanding of the problems of the world around her or has gone through some kind of hardship herself. Either way, it's a beautiful sight to see someone who has the power to change the world attempting to use that power.
To write love on her arms, Invisible children and Love 146 are just three of the charities that Hayley supports. She also speaks out from time to time on her tumblr about social pressures to be thin, online bullying, animal cruelty, sexual assault... You know, important issues that 95% of the world ignores.
On top of all the chart success, cosmo covers, 1 million twitter followers and the almost constant touring, she still seems to be fairly grounded and a genuinely nice girl.
I immediately fell in love with this post. She really shouldn't have to explain why she decided to be a cover girl for Cosmo, but for some reason, she felt like she needed to.
"The media clearly has our attention. it's easy to let all the images of all these godlike looking women whisper to us how we think we're supposed to look. It's like "Here, look at my BOOBS! Don't you wish you had these?" "More guys will like you if you do it THIS WAY!" "Get this figure" Blah blah blah spend all your time, energy, and money on becoming the world's idea of ''sexy"... and you know what? It's never gonna change. As much as i tell myself i don't care and i wear whatever i want... there will always be those moments when i'm at the check out line at target and i see some gorgeous person on the cover of any ol rag... and i'm like "ugh, is that how it's gotta be!?"
"I NEVER ever thought of myself as conventionally beautiful nor sexy. And only just recently did i ever even begin to accept how my looks differ from other people's whom i admire. I'm hoping that the more a magazine will take a chance on a girl like me, the more a girl will have a frickin chance in hell to be UNIQUE, powerful, strong in her weaknesses, confident in her flaws. Because that's who i'm trying to become."
She's correct. We spend so much time looking towards the media to inspire us. We look towards it to find out what to wear, what we should look like, what we should watch, what we should listen to.... but in the end? It doesn't matter. Because what we look like on the outside is only superficial. Look in the mirror, you cannot see your heart or your soul, no matter how hard you stare. The beauty on the inside will outlive the beauty on the outside by decades. So whenever your hair is a mess or you are breaking out, just remember that.
My last comment will be on her motto, B.O.Y (Beware of you)
She wears it on her tank top for
basically every Paramore show.
I've previously written about what that simple little phrase means to me, and presumably, quite a lot of other people.
When asked what it meant, she simply explained:
"BOY means “Beware of You”… Be aware of your power. We have the choice to live positively or in our own destruction"
I can't put into words the amount of respect I have for Hayley. I hope that 2011 is a better year for her than last year, she deserves it.
EDIT: Reading the Cosmo article about her makes me love her even more. Even people like Hayley were bullied when they were younger.
Bullying is for wimps. Spread love, not hate, because love is far more powerful than hate, if you can only find it in your heart to do it.