DOES BEYONCÉ MATTER?

QUESTION OF THE CENTURY: Does Beyoncé matter?

MY IMMEDIATE ANSWER: Of course she does. She’s Beyoncé after all.

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Call me biased (because I am) but I have a strong belief that Beyoncé is the embodiment of a strong-willed, strong-minded female, and not just because she is a celebrity with a massive social reach and influence. She is a symbol of hope for many women (especially those of colour), who still feel that their rights and voices are being mistreated or ignored in various areas of their lives.

Not being taken seriously is still an issue for many women who feel that they are being squashed by the (still) prevalent population of misogynistic men.

Needless to say, there are still many social and economic differences between men and women.

Take the wage gap between genders for example. It is a can of worms which has been opened several times in the past couple of years and has initiated many fiery conversations about how the issue has or has not been addressed. I do however acknowledge that this particular can of worms is seen as a difference in leadership roles and the industries in which males and females are predominately situated in.

So what does Beyoncé have to do with it all? And why does she matter in this day and age of media and the blurred lines between popular and high culture?

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Beyonce performing ‘Freedom’ in an eagle-esque costume at the 2016 BET awards

If you haven’t been living under a rock (or maybe you choose to ignore Beyoncé’s social reach altogether, that’s cool too), you would have at some point heard, seen or been exposed to the release of Beyoncé’s most recent and most controversial album Lemonade.

Lemonade can be as viewed as a medium for both popular and high culture, with her art form blurring the lines between this cultural divide, and ‘white privilege.’ Although it does have heavy themes of infidelity, love, and sex, it is also has strong connotations of the suppressed freedom of black women, particularly in the songs ‘Formation’ and ‘Freedom.’  The artistic approach shared in her visual album furthers this concept, with a number of her videos containing a cast of strong, powerful and influential black females (such as Winnie Harlow, Serena Williams and Zendaya), depicting a “I am a woman, hear me roar” tone.

She is seen ultimately seen as a voice for those who don’t always have a voice. This is why she is a significant figure in this day and age.

However, some audiences are saying that her Superbowl 2016 halftime performance, which features a host of all female, all black dancers, is “anti-cop” because of its evocation of the Black Lives Matter movement. If it were the other way around, no one would bat an eye, but due to the fact that Beyoncé is essentially embracing the colour of her skin, it is a source for outrage (doesn’t exactly make a lot of sense, right?)

“You may just be a black Bill Gates in the making,” are lyrics in her song ‘Formation,’ portraying that black women can be, and are successful. So why is this such a big deal for a black woman to support her own identity the way we often do?

I’ll let you be the decider.

Cheers,

V 🍻

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6 thoughts on “DOES BEYONCÉ MATTER?

  1. rubytoohey says:

    This was so wonderful! I love a bit of Yoncé and this post really encapsulates her strong-willed personality, activism, and overall talent. Her mass following is certainly influential, especially for empowering women of colour as you mentioned. The songs in her visual album Lemonade certainly contain political, social, and emotional discussions that are extremely relatable for individuals and groups, (especially the oppressed). As a self-identified fan, do you think her previous albums or singles have been just as political and powerful in standing up for the oppressed, (providing a “voice for those who don’t always have a voice”)?

    These two links have some good reasons, evidence, and reflections as to why Beyoncé is so, well, great…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/beyoncé-has-always-been-political-you-just-didnt-notice_us_56b8d3d2e4b08069c7a827a7

    http://themash.com/blog/entertainment/2016/03/10/cultural-impact-beyonce/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Have A Beer With V says:

    Hey! I’m glad you feel the same way, it’s a shame that some people feel that she is essentially ‘unnecessary’ when that really isn’t true due to her social impact, especially in the media.

    I feel as though she hadn’t started expressing her political stand point until now. Now that she has the following she does, she can express her opinion and it will be heard by millions. Lemonade is the ultimate turn away from pop and the ‘mainstream.’ I mean, she was in triple J’s hottest 100 a couple of times for gods sake!! If expressing the colour of her skin means that she has to turn away from pop music, so be it.- V

    Like

  3. dunncody says:

    Such an inspiring blog post and very relatable. Using such a famous celebrity to bring awareness to such controversial topics is very smart and helps us as an audience to relate to the issues being addressed.
    Her music not only well known, it has deeper meaning. The fact that you have bought these issues forward and educated us about her music and in particular the issues that she addresses, clearly represent the content on why the media matters, and how certain mediums can address such large controversial topics.
    “Lemonade can be viewed as a medium for both popular and high culture, with her art form blurring the lines between this cultural divide, and ‘white privilege.’ Although it does have heavy themes of infidelity, love, and sex, it is also has strong connotations of the suppressed freedom of black women, particularly in the songs ‘Formation’ and ‘Freedom.’ ” I love how you really explain how Lemonade her album is an advocate for change. Really well written and I enjoyed reading your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Have A Beer With V says:

      Thanks for the comment!
      I’m glad this post has been informative in a way that teaches people that her album Lemonade is an advocate for change. The media really does play a big part in the controversy surrounding her new approach to music, but that is what makes it so relevant to our current society and the ongoing issues people of colour face.
      Thanks for the feedback!- V

      Like

  4. Ijumaa_is says:

    This was a very good blog post. I learned that Beyoncè does in fact matter as a public figure discussing all the issues that you mentioned. I just thought she made bad music (pop) that was annoying, I guess I never listened properly to what she was trying to say. Your post was informative and well constructed. I enjoyed reading it as it was quite engaging. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Have A Beer With V says:

      Thanks for the comment!
      Everyone has their own opinion on music, which is totally fine, and I’m glad that you acknowledge that her music is an expression of the issues present for her race. It’s ok to not enjoy her music or who she is, but the main thing is that we all understand the connotations behind her songs.
      Thanks for the feedback!- V

      Liked by 1 person

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