I’ve had a growing disdain for Beyonce (I really should say the idea of Beyonce because I don’t really know her enough to hate her) for a while now.
It started while I was still a fan of hers, actually, and as it grew, my inability to enjoy her music grew with it.
Anyway, it started out as just a nagging nose upturn at her perpetration of class and sophistication during interviews. It bothered me that this woman who sang these soft “get it girl” songs while parading around music videos and stages with no clothes on appeared on Oprah and Larry King a completely different person. The woman who caused a seemingly nation-wide sensation by working a wall (the “uh oh” dance) was, I felt, “fronting” when she sat before Oprah and the like with her legs crossed, wearing a shirt or jacket buttoned up her neck, talking about empowering women or the ways in which women or young girls should carry themselves like ladies. On top of that, the media would always commend her for being a role model or a lady or having so much class or something to that end. I just didn’t understand where they were getting that from. I was seriously confused.
I kept listening to her music however, and I even convinced myself that I was tripping. “I’m being uptight,” I reasoned. “What’s the big deal?” “People run around naked all the time.” Besides, she wasn’t that naked. She just showed a little midriff and a little leg, right? What harm could that do?
I worked through my issues and spiraled into a Beyonce love affair right along with the rest of the world. As I let myself continue to like her though, her skirts got shorter and shorter until they didn’t exist at all (See below).
At the same time she began to loose more clothes, she began to gain more clout as a “lady”. She started making appearances with/around the Obamas and this unspoken (and sometimes spoken) parallel between her and Michelle surfaced. That was it, I couldn’t take it. Long story short, I got to the point where I hated Beyonce, the idea of her anyway. I couldn’t get how she could behave in ways that, if I (or any girl/woman) were to mimic, I’d be called a slut. How was she somehow a lady because she hopped off her $80 million pole for a press conference, put on three pounds of clothing, and stood next to the first lady of the United States? Aaaannnd, if, as so many argue, this ultra slutty “Sasha Fierce” is just a stage persona, why is that the one she chose? Why choose a character totally opposite of who you are in real life? When rappers do that (Rick Ross, Irv Gottie, etc.), we call them lame don’t we? I felt like she is, at the least, being a lame.
Anyway, that was the second phase of my mounting irritation with the trance around Beyonce. The third, which I am in now, didn’t hit me until this past weekend as I was attending an ICTC Doula training. I say it “hit” me, but it was more of a gradual creep up on me as the days of training passed and as I more deeply processed everything I was learning. The training was centered around women’s bodies, health, and overall wellness pre-pregnancy, prenatally, and postpartum. Fellowshipping with other women around birth and breastfeeding and the ways in which our bodies were made to produce life; the ways in which our bodies assist us in bringing new souls into the world…I felt so powerful.
I found a new appreciation for my body and I fell in love with myself–with all women’s bodies and then it hit me…I realized that I hated the idea of Beyonce and other celebrities like her because they devalue the female body as only an instrument for sex. Women are sometimes ashamed to breastfeed in public because this “developed” society has shamed the female body by reducing it to nothing more than an object to be associated with sex. Now, instead of breasts being recognized as an instrument of feeding and nourishing a new life, they are nothing more than toys to be jiggled or gawked at during or before sex. They’ve perverted our bodies and women like Beyonce help them to do it. This is why I don’t like her, or anyone like her. It just bothers me that for some reason these traits seen so very clearly in the likes of Trina, Lil’ Kim or Nikki Minaj somehow escape “King Bey”.
Our bodies are more than sex, and even more powerful than our ability to woo a man with our hips, is the power we have to push one through them. Don’t get me wrong, the female body is one of God’s most beautiful creations, and our sexual assets are some of the most beautiful parts, but we are more than that. So much more. I just can’t accept this society’s ignorance to that fact or their refusal to acknowledge it by pushing sex to us as if the number of free drinks we can get in the club is all that defines our worth. Our bodies are sacred temples responsible for every life that exists on this earth. That is powerful. I could go on and on about this, but I’ll save the details for another post. Before you go, check out this poem. It’s a perfect display of the shame associated with women doing what God created them to do. Hope you enjoy it.