Members of Massachusetts band consisting of 14- to 16-year-old girls are chastising judges from a battle of the bands contest at a local fair for a critique they felt was highly sexist.
“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!” the group’s statement reads. “WE ARE 14-16 YEARS OLD.”
The musicians said they called out the judges at Three County Fair on whether they’d give a similar critique to a band consisting of boys.
“They said, ‘Oh, no. It is a completely different thing.’ Actually, it really isn’t. This conspicuous act of sexist and stereotypical thinking was deplorable and pathetic,” the post reads.
Kalliope Jones ended up winning third place at the contest, but felt they weren’t given a fair shot. “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,” the statement reads.
In a follow-up statement on Sept. 7, the band wrote that it wasn’t aiming to be “demonizing or offending” to the judges, sponsors or fair organizers.
“We understand that the judges may not have even realized that what they said was sexist; it’s just what many define the music industry as these days,” the statement reads. “Our goal is to educate people who think this, and change the paradigm. We sincerely hope the judges made an honest mistake in their use of the word ‘sultry,’ and that they, the sponsors, and the fair organizers join us in eradicating sexism wherever it may show up.”
Billboard has reached out to Three County Fair for comment.