The Massachusetts Tri-County Fair Battle of the Bands almost ended up without a hitch. However, Kalliope Jones, a band consisting of three teen musicians aged 14-16, received less points from the male judge for the competition because they weren’t “sultry” enough for his tastes. Apparently teen bands consisting of boys can focus on the music while teen girl bands must sound and look “sultry.”
The band, whose members include bassist Amelia Chalfont, 14, drummer and singer Alouette Batteau, 14, and guitarist and singer Isabella DeHerdt, 16, took to Facebook to express how they felt about the way this judges’ opinion affected how they placed:
As Amelia Chalfant said, “A woman’s sex appeal, or anyone’s for that matter, should not be the defining factor in their success in the music industry, and in addition to that, WE ARE CHILDREN! WE ARE 14-16 YEARS OLD.” The judges tried to say they meant it as a positive thing; that it was supposed to mean “soulful”. They did not understand why they were confronted.
The band ended up in third place. They also stated, “We are grateful to have ranked among the top three performers (who, by the way, besides us, were all boys), but to be judged on our sex appeal and told that we need to be more sexy in order to make it as musicians goes against everything we have been taught.”
Though the comments made by the judge were gross and serve us as a reminder that teenaged girls are still sexualized at a critical time in their lives, Kalliope Jones shows us that there is hope for young girl bands out there. As of yet, the organizers of the fair haven’t commented on the situation, but we should all be thankful that the band didn’t stay silent about their unfortunate experience.