White supremacy has a significant impact on the music industry, including the way that musicians are expected to create and perform. the concept of perfectionism is just one particular obstacle white supremacy presents.
Some of the white supremacist concepts of perfectionism that musicians might face in the industry include: the idea that there is a single "correct" way to create music, and that any deviation from this norm is inferior or unacceptable; the belief that artists from marginalized communities must work harder and be more perfect in order to be successful, while white artists are given more leeway and opportunities; the notion that certain types of music and aesthetics are superior to others, and that artists who don't conform to these standards are not "good enough"; and the pressure to constantly perform at a high level and to be perfect in every aspect of their career, including their appearance, stage presence, and social media presence. These concepts of perfectionism are often used to uphold white supremacy and to oppress marginalized communities within the music industry. They can create a toxic environment that is stressful and demoralizing for musicians, and can prevent many talented artists from reaching their full potential.
White supremacy affects many other aspects of the music industry, including talent development and discovery, marketing and promotion, industry leadership and decision-making, cultural appropriation, and pay disparities. Musicians from marginalized communities may face barriers to success due to the prevalence of white supremacy in the industry, including difficulties getting signed to record labels, booking gigs, and getting airplay on radio stations. They may also be less likely to receive media coverage or to be featured on prominent music platforms, and may experience pay disparities. The music industry is often dominated by white executives and decision-makers, which can create a bias towards white artists and limit opportunities for musicians from marginalized communities. It is important to actively work towards dismantling these systems of oppression in order to create a more inclusive and equitable industry.
Here are a few ways that musicians can actively work towards dismantling white supremacist concepts of perfectionism in the music industry:
Educate themselves: Musicians can educate themselves about the ways in which white supremacist concepts of perfectionism have historically been used to oppress marginalized communities and to uphold white supremacy in the music industry. This can involve reading books, articles, and other resources that address these issues.
Amplify marginalized voices: Musicians can work to amplify the voices and perspectives of marginalized communities within the music industry. This can involve sharing the work of artists from these communities on social media, collaborating with them on music projects, and advocating for their inclusion in industry events and opportunities.
Practice self-compassion: Musicians can work to cultivate self-compassion and resist the pressure to be perfect. This can involve setting realistic goals, acknowledging and accepting their own flaws and limitations, and being kind to themselves when they make mistakes.
Advocate for change: Musicians can advocate for change within the music industry by speaking out against white supremacist concepts of perfectionism and calling for more inclusive and equitable practices. This can involve joining or supporting organizations that work towards these goals, participating in protests and demonstrations, and using their platform to raise awareness about these issues.
Support diverse, inclusive initiatives: Musicians can support initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion within the music industry, such as record labels, radio stations, and publications that prioritize the work of marginalized communities.