PROUD. SEXY. MOTHER. POWER. SEXUALITY. LIVE. LOVE. HAPPINESS.
With the drop of Beyoncé’s new album, BEYONCE, many have discounted her feminist expression to actually be feminist. Many claim that her visual album is too scandalous, and that she can’t possibly be a feminist showing so much skin and singing about sex. But wait.
Isn’t she doing exactly what male rappers do- minus the showing skin?
“Flawless” even has the voice of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian feminist author and speaker. Although the beginning of this song perceives Beyoncé to be rude and almost greedy when she talks about girls looking up to her, and as she proceeds to exclaim “BOW DOWN BITCHES.” But, essentially, isn’t that was all male rap artists do anyways? Despite society’s limits set upon women, Beyoncé is expressing her ability to break through the glass ceiling, and marching her pretty ass strait to the top of success. Instead of forgetting about the others whom the glass might fall upon, she encourages ALL women to believe that they too are flawless, beautiful, strong, and can break through.
The criticism that Beyoncé has been receiving regards her take on feminism and what it means to be a women. The great thing about feminists is that we are always still learning, evolving. Usually, we like to have an open mind, but exploration is key. This is exactly what Ms. Carter-Knowles is doing.
I will agree that in the beginning of “Flawless” things are a bit bitey, or perhaps edgy, but this is her victory cry! Beyoncé is celebrating. She was too ambitious, too threatening, not afraid of getting in the way of the man. Her life choices didn’t revolve around marriage.
Yes, this album is extremely sexual, but this is a woman who just had a baby. She worked her ass off to get back to where she was pre-baby. Since when is being proud of your body a sin? Oh, right after women started proving that their bodies aren’t their only assets.
The album is exhibiting Beyoncé’s sexuality. She too can be a sexual being just like the boys.
She is overcoming all of society’s expectations and stereotypes.
The “Flawless” video closes with her group ‘Girls TYME’ coming in second to an all male group. The group of guys got all perfect scores, while the girls fell short. This seems to be what’s happening today to women. We are expected to fall short. But when we don’t, something extraordinary happens. A breakthrough. Another woman to inspire all the rest.
We are cohesive. We are strong. We are captivating. And we will rise above the glass ceiling.
Beyoncé wants the world to know that she hasn’t fallen short. This is her message to women. Society will tell you that you fall short- but that is not your destiny.
Quotes from a few of the songs underlining feminism, and supporting Beyoncé’s feminist values:
Pretty Hurts: Pretty hurts, we shine the light on whatever’s worst. Perfection is a disease of a nation, pretty hurts, pretty hurts
Haunted: Soul not for sale. Probably won’t make no money off this, oh well
Drunk In Love: No complaints from my body, so fluorescent under these lights Boy, I’m drinking, Park it in my lot 7-11
Blow: Can you eat my skittles, It’s the sweetest in the middle, Pink is the flavor, Solve the riddle, I’m a lean back, Don’t worry it’s nothing major, Make sure you clean that, It’s the only way to get the flavor
No Angel: No I’m not an angel either, but at least I’m trying, I know I drive you crazy, but would you rather that I be a machine, Who doesn’t notice when you late or when you’re lying, I love you even more than who I thought you were before
Partition: (in French) Do you like sex? Sex. I mean, the physical activity. Coitus. Do you like it? You’re not interested in sex? Men think that feminists hate sex, But it’s a very stimulating and natural activity that women love.
Jealous: I’m just jealous, I’m just human, Don’t judge me
Rocket: Climb until you reach my peak, babe, the peak, babe, the peak, And reach right into the bottom of my fountain
***Flawless: I took some time to live my life, But don’t think I’m just his little wife, Don’t get it twisted, get it twisted, This my shit, bow down bitches
Superpower: The laws of the world never stopped us once, Cause together we got plenty super power
Queen B. When she says bow down bitches, I think she really means: Look at me now. I am successful, I am ambitious, I am strong. I am a woman.
While Beyoncé may still have more to learn about being a feminist, there is something for everyone to take away from her message. Discovering what being a feminist means is half the journey. All feminists are learning feminists.