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Beyoncé: The Voice of Feminism

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We all know Beyoncé has the vocal chords of a goddess. Yet she uses her talent and fame for more than just singing. Beyoncé advocates for feminism outside and through her music. Not only was her perspective on feminism apparent at the VMA’s (Video Music Awards) after she projected the word “Feminist” across the stage, Beyoncé actually incorporates feminist concepts within her lyrics. Queen Bey is a role model for women everywhere and is an ideal model of a feminist.

In opposition to a stereotype of a feminist that states that female sexuality degrades a woman’s worth, Beyoncé embraces and owns her sexuality as a key aspect of her identity. Many argue Beyoncé is not a feminist because she portrays herself as a sexual object. Yet Beyoncé is just the opposite; she is a feminist because she embraces her sexuality and who she is. She is not weakened by her sexuality.

Beyonce

Drunk in Love: Embrace her Sexuality

Beyoncé embraces her sexuality through many of her songs and music videos. For example, in Drunk in Love, Queen Bey owns her identity as a strong, confident woman.

Oh baby, drunk in love we be all night

Last thing I remember is our beautiful bodies,

grinding up in the club (Drunk in Love)

In opposition to a stereotype of a feminist that states that female sexuality degrades a woman’s worth, Beyoncé embraces and owns her sexuality as a key aspect of her identity. Many argue Beyoncé is not a feminist because she portrays herself as a sexual object. Yet Beyoncé is just the opposite; she is a feminist because she embraces her sexuality and who she is. She is not weakened by her sexuality.

Pretty Hurts: Opposes Standards for Women

Beyoncé’s song, Pretty Hurts, comments on the beauty standards and pressures women face. She critiques the expectations that society places on women.

 Pretty hurts, we shine the light on whatever’s worst

Perfection is a disease of a nation, pretty hurts, pretty hurts (Pretty Hurts)

Beyoncé describes the beauty standards as a “disease of a nation”. Not only does she illustrate the struggles she faces, Beyoncé represents the struggles of all women of pop culture. She displays how society and women always look to their impurities and imperfections in addition to comparing themselves with others. By emphasizing the negative impact of these standards, Beyoncé connects with all females, from young girls to women of all ages. Beyoncé critiques the standards of body image of our society with this impactful song.

Flawless: Fights for Equality

In her song, Flawless, from her most recent album Beyoncé incorporates Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s speech on feminism.

We teach girls to shrink themselves to make themselves smaller

We say to girls, ‘You can have ambition, but not too much

You should aim to be successful, but not too successful

Otherwise you will threaten the man (Flawless)

Adichie is a noted author and modern feminist from Nigeria who advocates for equality for women around the world. By incorporating this speech from her TED talk, she is not only supporting Adichie’s image, Beyoncé is promoting Adichie’s message of equality of the sexes. These lyrics also convey how there are many societal expectations women have to overcome to achieve equality between men and women.

Beyoncé is the definition of a modern feminist because she is not a “man hater”, a classic feminist stereotype, nor does she fit in any other negative perceptions of a feminist. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, feminism is, “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes”. Feminism is simply the belief in equality of the sexes, and Beyoncé fully embodies a feminist. I’m proud to sing with you, Beyoncé. You go, girl.

 

 

 

Acknowledgments:

  1. A to Z lyrics for their Beyoncé song lyrics.
  2. Britannica Encyclopedia for their biography on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
  3. Getty Images for their image.

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