With the Release of ‘Girl Who Didn’t Care,’ Tenille Townes Says Empowering Young Women is ‘The Greatest Honor’

Tenille Townes; Photo by John Shearer
Tenille Townes; Photo by John Shearer
Tenille Townes; Photo by John Shearer

Tenille Townes’ vision for the “Girl Who Didn’t Care” music video — one that highlights the stories of women in male-dominated fields, and provides inspiration for young girls with big dreams — has been quite a while in the making.

“This idea’s been brewing for a really long time,” the singer told Country Now and other outlets earlier in the week, as her music video was just a couple days away from being released.

Back in May, Townes was a guest on Lindsay Czarniak’s The Artist and The Athlete podcast along with Vanderbilt University goalkeeper Sarah Fuller. “As soon as we got off the podcast, I was like, ‘We have to have Sarah be a part of this video,’” the singer recounts. Alongside director Mason Dixon, Townes got to have a hand in every part of developing the video, sitting behind the monitors and offering creative input at every turn.

She got to know the other two women cast in the video, too: Even astronaut-in-training Alyssa Carson, who chatted with Townes from an aquanaut training stint in a submarine.

“While we were shooting the video, she was in training…to be an astronaut underwater and she was living in a submarine,” Townes explains. “So we were literally talking through the distance.”

Carson was one of seven selected to be an ambassador on Mars One, which is a mission to establish a human colony on Mars in 2030. “I can’t wait, in 2030, to be like, ‘Alyssa Carson was in our video and now she has just touched down on Mars,’” Townes laughs.

While one of the video’s participants dialled in from her underwater training facility, another was a hometown hero: Shannon Wells is a firefighter based in Nashville, and Townes got in touch with her through a mutual firefighter friend. “I was like, ‘We have to have a female firefighter be a part of this video,’” Townes gushes. “…[Shannon], she’s got such a powerful countenance about her…Her perspective and heart for taking care of other people comes from watching her grandparents, and getting to hear these stories from her gave me goosebumps, like, ‘This is exactly who’s supposed to be in the video in this role.’”

All three of the video’s guest stars have the potential to inspire young girls who might be interested in pursuing traditionally male-dominated fields — whether that be sports, astrobiology or firefighting. Townes knows firsthand how important it is to have those role models: After all, she came of age in the competitive and male-dominated field of country music, inspired by women like Shania Twain, Martina McBride and the Chicks. Now, Townes is doing her part to light a fire in the hearts of the next generation of female country superstars.

Tenille Townes; Photo by Lathrop Schmidt
Tenille Townes; Photo by Lathrop Schmidt

“That is the most overwhelming feeling. It’s always my favorite,” the singer says in response to the question of what it’s like to see young girls at her shows, standing on their chairs and singing along with her songs.

“It immediately takes me back to when I was that age. And remembering what it felt like to go, ‘Okay, we’re driving five hours and going to a concert. This is the best day,’” she continues. “And I’m standing there the whole time, just being like, ‘This is it. This is what I wanna do someday.’

“There’s something so powerful about actually getting to see somebody do it in real life,” Townes concludes, pointing out that there are many industries — not just the ones represented in the video — that put women at a disadvantage. Both in “Girl Who Didn’t Care” and in her career as a whole, Townes says, bolstering young women is an important part of her creative process.

“It is an honor to get to step on the stage and to think about any little dreamers out there, continuing that circle,” she says. “It’s the greatest honor of the whole thing.”

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