40 years of ‘Girls just wanna have fun’, Cindy Lauper’s anthem that taught women not to apologize for having fun

by time news

2023-12-06 18:47:03

Leaving the solemn 70s behind, the world was searching for its new identity in the 80s. A decade that began with the assassination of Lennon and the attempts to take down the Pope and President Reagan just a few weeks apart. A virus was ravaging gay men; a socialist arrived at Moncloa; Diana Spencer became a princess in a story that would become macabre; IBM revolutionized work and entertainment by introducing the first PC; and a video game, PacMan, became a success, for the first time, also among women who began to fill the arcades.

The second wave of feminism achieved the incorporation of women into places that were hitherto prohibited and made feminism an issue to be discussed by politics. And then, in 1983, a waitress who had already tried her luck in music with a group called Blue Angel was offered to record a song that talked about a womanizer who slept with women who just wanted to have a good time. Cindy Lauper turned Robert Hazard’s lyrics on its head and turned it into a feminist anthem: ‘Girls just wanna have fun’.

Enough of men clipping her wings, she wanted to walk free in the sun. It is what the writer Sergio del Molino calls in ‘The Skin’, “Lauperian Socialism.” “Socialism had always been identified with its working-class capacity, with austerity, and Cindy Lauper makes a song for working-class girls, she says so in the lyrics, but they want to have a good time,” argues del Molino.

The song and its video clip, recorded with just $35,000 between friends, was a hit around the world and to this day we find dozens of versions, such as those by Miley Cyrus or Russian Red. The Spanish group Malafé joins the tribute and now releases ‘Cindy ‘, a single that covers Lauper’s song, “with a very universal and transgressive message for its time,” says Javier Bosque, vocalist.

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As transgressive as spending for forty years telling women that they don’t have to ask for permission or forgiveness to have a good time.

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