On which side of history will Beyoncé fall? Let’s first, make things very clear by saying there are only two options, because why not limit ourselves to a world of polar binaries?! What fun! I mean, it would be hell on Earth if we actually had to think, as opposed to enlisting overused, easily recognizable ideas given to us during our primary education. Ideas we will cling to into our golden years, as though they were a floating door in the Atlantic Ocean and we were Jack Dawson. Ideas that in about 50 years, will make us the old person calling kids “boys” and “girls” in a world where gender no longer exists. Anyway, two options: right and wrong… duh.
Most Black, 80’s babies grew up with parents that wanted their children to assimilate. And of said parents, those who had the idea drilled in their mind, “because you are black, you have to work 100 times harder than your white peers,” (See Olivia Pope, See Chris Rock) aimed at raising super children. For instance, I went to school in business casual attire until I was 17 years old…. I remember being jealous of my friends because I didn’t have T-shirts. I remember thinking, “It must be so nice to wear something comfortable all day (First world problems…). If I got a “B” on my report card, my parent’s first question would be, “Why isn’t this an “A”?” Beyoncé is the leader of this tribe. Her goal is perfection. She is Flawless. She will Upgrade you. It is her opinion that you are a bitch and should bow down. Beyoncé is “Queen”. One can assume, Beyoncé is bad, real bad; Michael Jackson, because her dad, Mathew, was mad, real mad: Joe Jackson. You’ve seen the videos, you’ve heard the interviews, Beyoncé was raised to work hard, taught that her value was rooted in how hard she worked. “I dream and I work hard, I grind till I own it.” Millennials are questioning whether they want to own anything, moving into mobile homes, turning school buses into housing, moving to remote villages in other countries and actually living… I wonder if Yoncé is still striking a chord with the kids…
Productivity: We are now entering an age where we like to think our productivity is not indicative of our value. Millennials all over are rising and saying “No” to the 9-5, and questioning capitalism; is money everything? The conventions our parents settled with are being thrown out the window for more liberal ideas that place more value on relationships and experiences. B, on the other hand, is rooted in her productivity and the luxuries it affords her. It’s almost a problem how much money she has; (I suggest reading this as a Facebook status/complaint, it’s better that way) “Of course sometimes shit go down when there’s a billion dollars in the elevator…God damn, God damn, God damn!” And after spending $300 to see you in concert (that’s nearly 60 hours of work (after taxes) for someone who makes minimum wage), ain’t nobody trynna hear how they need to be upgraded. You keep the Burberry, Imma take my broke ass to the thrift store. Who cares about labels anymore? I guess Beyoncé (have you seen her topshop line?).
Appearance: The conversation surrounding our bodies is changing, many of us are no longer chasing the standards of beauty that plagued those before us, especially not those rooted in misogyny. Now, we have plus-sized models on the cover of Sports Illustrated, we have actresses coming forward and openly discussing and battling the expectations for women in Hollywood, we have underwear ads for men featuring guys with average bodies. I’m not saying things are perfect…. I’m saying they are changing. The degree to which the door of change is open almost makes people like Beyoncé, who are rooted in perfection, seem as though they are stuck in some barbaric past. Regardless of her reasons for wanting to remain in perfect physical condition (and frankly it’s none of our business), she can come across as someone aimed at appealing to an old-school, misogynistic view of women. It just makes you wonder, what side of history will B fall on? You heard pretty hurts,
“Mama said, you’re a pretty girl
What’s in your head it doesn’t matter
Brush your hair, fix your teeth
What you wear is all that matters”
Tradition: Mrs. Carter is all about that ring. I mean girlfriend mentions it every two seconds, named an entire comeback tour after the name it gave her, and home-girl made a song where she literally says, “If you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it.” We’re in an age, where that very tradition is starting to be questioned, more and more. “Girl, you took his name? What are you? Property?” Clearly she is not the only woman taking her husband’s last name and taking pride in marriage and I’m not saying there is anything wrong with it…. But, as the times continue to change, as couples start creating a new last name for them to share, creating new traditions… you can’t help but wonder, which side of history will B fall on?
I’m sure Mrs Carter will surprise us all by completely reinventing herself with her next visual/sonic project. Did you see the clip she released just the other day? Only time will tell what will be and I dare not say anything negative about Beyoncé, but I do wonder…. Good and Bad, Right and Wrong: Where Will Mrs. Carter Fall?