Monday, 13 January 2014


Strong, beautiful, independent and sexy: features many women dream to have. Beyoncé proved her power recently in the surprise release of her self-titled album, accompanied by 17 music videos. I love the album, it’s definitely got a very hip-hop feel to it, featuring artists like Jay-Z, Drake and Frank Ocean. It’s quite a bit darker and definitely more explicitly sexual than previous albums, with songs like Drunk in Love, Rocket and Partition. But, it is balanced out by softer lullabies such as Blue and Heaven. While I do love Beyoncé and can’t wait to go see her in March, recently I've been having a few issues with her...

Beyoncé, or ‘Queen B’ as she is sometimes referred to, is like a queen. Women and girls around the world look up to her, want to be her and have her life. She is inspirational and encapsulates the essence of women, but recently she’s got me thinking.

Take the video for Drunk in Love: Beyoncé rolling around on the beach very partially clothed, and then Jay-Z walks in rapping away, fully clothed. It doesn’t make sense, why are the portrayals of the two genders so explicitly different? Why does Beyoncé feel the need to show so much of her body to the world, when if Jay-Z did the same thing, frankly, it would be a bit odd?

Ok so maybe you’re thinking if you’ve got it, flaunt it? But Beyoncé didn’t have it, she lost 60lbs after having Blue and worked so hard to get her body back, just so she could show it off in her new videos. Why did she feel the need to do this? Jay-Z doesn’t have a perfect body, no-one cares. So many young female artists feel the need to show off their bodies in order to be successful and it’s just not the same for men. Beyoncé prides herself on being a feminist, one of the few we have in this culture nowadays, she even samples a speech by active feminist and author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in the song Flawless and recently wrote an article in the Shriver Report demanding that women need to be as equally respected as men. So how can someone who is so involved in the equality of men and women not see how, by dressing and acting in this way, it is further widening the gap between the genders and how they are viewed in society?

People, including myself, get so caught up on being thin and looking a certain way. Those with authority, working in the industry, have the power to change this view. I have always seen Beyoncé as a spokesperson for women, but now I’m not sure if I agree with the image she is sending out. According to Beyoncé ‘perfection is a disease of a nation’, meaning that we compare everyone to the perfect image of themselves, and anything less than that is not enough. I don’t see how she is promoting this message, that perfection is not a reality, through her music videos.

I am not saying all of this because I don’t care how I look, I do, I think about it a lot. The list of things I would change about my appearance is a long one, but what I’m wondering is why do I, and others, feel this way? Why are looks so important in our society? What difference do they make to the type of people we are? I thought Beyoncé would be more of a spokesperson for women in this way, promoting the idea that every woman is beautiful, no matter their outward appearance. I have to say I'm a little disappointed in her.
Maybe I’ll bring it up with her in March if we get talking!
Ellen x

Photographs  ©  respective owners.

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