top of page

Rockstar Girlfriend: The Issue with Being The Muse 

The TikTok trend “Rockstar Girlfriend” has become very popular within social media recently. The trend follows the aesthetics around prior girlfriends of a famous musician or what seems to be an imagined life of, you guessed it, a rockstar girlfriend. This trend follows the physical aesthetics leaning toward a more grunge appearance in both makeup and fashion. But, what this trend does not speak on is the dynamics of being a rockstar girlfriend and the history of being a muse. In most cases, the girlfriend of an artist is considered to be the muse and from there forward is forever attached to the musician. The concept of being a muse is nothing new to society or the media. So what is wrong with being the muse? Throughout history the muse of a musician or the partner, mainly being a woman have experienced a lost sense of self within the media only being looked at as ……’s girlfriend. These muses are no longer looked at as individuals but as part of something that is not themselves. And unfortunately, most of these women have had no choice but to put their lives aside and only focus on the artist. 

The romanticization of rockstar girlfriend in a way is highlighting the lack of individuality that the women have had to face in the media. With being seen as a muse an image of what the artist wants to project onto the muse is all the muse is then seen as. Most famous muses have no known identity other than what is seen of them. An example of this can be the models of famous paintings such as the Birth of Venus painting by Sandro Botticelli. Sandro Botticelli’s muse is named Simonetta Vespucci, which I would not have known unless I had done my research which is sad especially due to the fact that I have her tattooed on my arm.

Yet it is not seen as Simonetta Vespucci but as the Goddess Venus. Simonetta Vespucci is only one of the thousands of muses within the arts that have no known presences other than the ones given to them by the men they inspire. Another example of this can be the model for the famous Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci which is a portrait of Madam Lisa Giocondo, and that conclusion alone is based on art historians opinion not fact. While it is great to be forever ingrained in art whether it is music or a painting it gives the muse no room to become something for themselves and if they are, it is overshadowed by what they are seen as. 

To continue this idea of lost identity within being a muse is how modern media speaks of the muse. Instead of how in past years a muse was referred to as the piece of art in which they were the muse for and recognized in some sort of way if any. The modern muse is one completely shadowed by the name of the artist and again this is mostly happening to women. These women are now seen as the girlfriend of or the muse of ....without the mention of a name which is accessible now because of our access to the internet and was not as accessible in the past. We see women more known for dating a figure such as Harry Styles then what they have done in their actual careers. It is more of a concern of which song was written for them then what they have actually accomplished for themselves. But in today's society many strive to be a muse for the simple recognition or connection to a famous artist which is not surprising by the simple hunger that many have to be an influential figure. 

To finish my thoughts on this issue comes, in my opinion, the greatest issue of being a muse. That is the manipulation and use of power against someone that is called a muse. We have seen this issue with women such as Priscilla Presley being manipulated into the image of what Elvis wanted her to look and act like at the age of fourteen years old. Most of these muses are young, vulnerable, naive or all of the above. Because of their lack of power in these situations it causes them to be forced into an image that is not themselves even if the change is something that they themselves originally did not want. The issue with this is most muses do not know they are a muse until one day they look at themselves and cannot recognize who they are. Their lives are now surrounded by the artist and it feels like they have no choice but to continue that reality. Being a muse not only can cause a loss of identity but a loss of power and control within their whole individual lives causing trends as rockstar girlfriend to be dangerous in ways for young teen girls hoping to develop their identity. 

Written by Celeste Nieves

Photography by Mark Bluemle

Creative Director: Veronica Anaya

Talent: Ashley Murphy, Ishika Naik, Maddie McGuffey

bottom of page