meredith graves, What's Underneath
Punk Isn’t a Consumerist Item, It’s What’s Underneath

We first met and interviewed the Holly-Golightly-Frances-Ha mashup that is Perfect Pussy’s Meredith Graves at SXSW. We love how unafraid she is to challenge what it means to be a punk musician in what she refers to as our "capitalist hetero patriarchy.” She refused to perform with a popular band whose band member is known to beat girls, and her own shows are so wildly expressive of her emotions when it comes to life's ignorances that she has bruises on her body (which she was brave enough to reveal while stripping down). So when a music writer harshly criticized her for not being punk because she doesn't wear studs, she ...well, you can see Meredith’s response and more of her well-read ’tude, including her refusal to be the "skinny, pretty" lead singer, above in Part 6 of the What’s Underneath Project. We think she is a radiant beauty and role model due to her guts to be exactly who she is.

Follow Meredith on Instagram: @meredithxgraves
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Listen to Perfect Pussy
Watch more What’s Underneath
Stay tuned for Part 7… coming soon!
Part 6 was produced by Elisa, Lily, & Mona
The video was edited by Andrea Cruz

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  • tcbrekke

    I'm way confused. I really like this interview. But I don't understand why the how review linked to is described as "harshly criticiz[ing]" the show - dude seems like he loved the show. The whole thing about her not looking punk is followed directly by a paragraph that shows that the author admires her for having the guts to make the speech she did that night, and then another that says folks should listen when Graves speaks. Here's three paragraphs in the order they appear in the article, starting with the one that talks about her shorts.

    "The apparent disconnect is that Graves is, well, normal-looking. She has short, bleached blonde hair and last night was dressed in a not-at-all-punk-looking shorts and striped shirt that was tied off at the bottom. To some there may be no outward reason for her to be an angry person, a dissonance she no doubt plays off of. But that fact may also add to lingering questions around the band's authenticity, as though the salacious name and pent-up posturing are mere ploys.

    Had it not been for the way the night ended, there could still be room to give credence to that idea. Yes, it was just a flyer. But what Graves was talking about went much deeper then a flyer, deep than some show promoters or a bar in Deep Ellum. It went deeper than the hyper-masculine culture of hardcore music, too.

    What Graves was speaking about was a certain kind of rage (and fear) that only a woman will know. It's the same rage that's not only a part of Perfect Pussy's music but its very being. They may not be a great band and you may not be able to hear much of what she says. But when you can, it shouldn't fall on deaf ears."

    Musicians probably shouldn't read the reviews, but in this case it seems like she might want to read it again, at least. The review I read makes her sound like a badass who fronts a noisy band that I want to see anyway, because its singer is punk-as-fuck to her soul, and has to the guts to voice potentially unpopular opinions. That seems like a ringing endorsement to me.

  • vwolffffeee

    I really enjoyed this article and concept. I felt like the questions were thoughtful and the responses even more so; Meredith Graves, you are an incredible woman with such insightful and intelligent wisdom. My only criticism goes to the producers of the show. After all of the vulnerable answers Meredith gave about self love and the authenticity that comes from within, the show ends with you telling her how amazing her body looks. Don't get me wrong, she does look amazing and I can't even imagine her 20 pounds lighter as she mentioned she was at her best. I find it not only contradictory to the premise of this show, but also discouraging to your viewers. Just as I was feeling inspired listening to this wonderful woman and feeling validation for having an intelligent mind rather than a perfect body, you go and do the same thing that douche reviewer "Jeff" does and wrap up the show raving about how amazing her body looks instead of complimenting her powerful thoughts about society. At least wait until you've stopped filming to talk about such trivial things or edit it out next time.

  • Christina

    I totally get the blond thing, I have really long blond hair ( goes to about my upper thigh) which I'm really proud of, but because of stereotyping and all the shit I get for being blond, some days I just want to chop it all off. I'm also goth and a cosplayer so, there's even more stereotyping to add to the mix, so people either think I'm a dumb blond, a death obsessed bitch or a geek. I don't see why people can't just simply wear or look how they want without getting shit for it.

  • Lulu

    Intelligent comment ruined by the irritating 'You've got a beautiful body' interjections. As I watched, I thought, 'What is wrong with our society that such a beautiful, intelligent woman with a perfectly good body should spend so much time feeling that she is too tall/fat/unattractive when, to most of us non-trolls, she is lovely.'

    I am 59. When I look back at pictures of myself in my 20s I now see an attractive-enough, tall young woman with a reasonable body... but during the whole time I felt too tall, too fat and too plain. What a waste of precious time which I can never regain. Don't make my mistake.

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