A Reality Check on Queen Bey

Through the task assignment, I tried to find something that describes who I am.  I decided rather than giving a brief summary of my goals, hobbies, and jobs, that I would examine a recent change in thought process to illustrate who I am in my life right now.

As we all know, the world is obsessed with Beyonce, including me. I have been a fan of her’s since Destiny’s Child’s first single “No, No, No” and followed her solo career thus after. I saw Beyonce this past year in August during her Mrs. Carter Tour; my admiration grew for her sense of independence, beautiful body, and love for her art.

As I listened to her most recent album, Beyonce, it seemed to embody every emotion that I have recently faced in my senior year of college-  love, passion, a sense of acceptance, and power. I fell deeply into Beyonce’s album and the the image of Beyonce- her beauty, power, and idealized image of woman she created. Through Beyonce’s success of her most recent album, it seems that our society has been praising Beyonce as an almighty figure to be compared to a religious figure. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram filled with Beyonce pictures, memes, and articles. Two articles that I recently read changed my deep infatuation of Beyonce to a more realistic and practical view of who she is.

I was recently sent a blog post called “Bey is for Basic”, which describes Beyonce as a simple woman that got lucky. The blog post initially had a rough start but it highlighted some good points. Beyonce is a woman who is talented and got really lucky, her music is not deep, but relatable. This article shed some light on the reality that is Beyonce and was pushed further through another article.

Beyonce recently contributed to The Shriver Report with her post, “Gender Equality Is a Myth!”. Beyonce announces in an uncreative and simplistic manner that there is no such thing as equality amongst the two genders in 2014. The picture that the constant Buzzfeed lists, Instagram posts, Youtube videos seem to enforce is that Beyonce is a woman with great intellectual depth and societal analysis, but her writing seemed to reinforce the idea of her as “basic”.

Beyonce is a musician, not a writer, I appreciate her strong sense of feminism and advocacy of “girl power”, but she is not a God nor an unattainable image. Beyonce is beautiful, talented in her career field, and just so happens to be married to an equally talented man, but she is not the end all be all. Her album is very relatable and I enjoy the variety of songs she has as an artist, but she is not immortal. Beyonce is my favorite artist, but not my savior. It is important to take Beyonce for what she is, a celebrity, and stop telling women that they can never be as happy, pretty, or successful as Beyonce.

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4 comments

  1. I also think the reality check you wrote about is so important. Excessive hype around celebs and musicians, especially over the internet, is actually pretty dangerous. First of all, the internet can be such a veil. Talking about Beyonce online as a “goddess” is so easy because most people who talk about her never even see, meet, or speak to her. The Beyonce we speak of isn’t really human its the idea of her and the image we consume of her. What a strange game we play. Also, elevating famous people to the level of “icon,” or “god” sets up unrealistic expectations for their audience. For example, when the mothers of young daughters were heartbroken and outraged that Miley has shed her Hannah Montana image for something more provocative? I don’t get it. I think we forget that famous people are human too, flawed and all. Again, it strips the person in question, like Beyonce, of her humanity. Everyone needs to just calm down with the celeb/diva worshiping.

  2. I really liked this post and your approach to the “describe yourself” aspect of this assignment. I was also very endeared to how relatable the newest album was and I think that part of the reason that it has garnered such a large reaction was because it was, as you mention, the epitome of the “perfect” woman effectively describing a myriad of emotions and ways of being a woman that just aren’t present in the mainstream music scene. For example, motherhood, jealousy, willful submission, permissible domination, possessiveness, etc. were all present. I do agree that all the excitement about her being a feminist figure of some sort has blown her actual agenda or understanding on these issues to an idealistic and imaginary level; I’m pretty sure that this is something that happens in all art though – where one can transpose some great meaning or symbolism onto a piece, whether or not that was its original intention (for example, most of high school English classes). While I think that Beyonce and her career are a great teaching tool and are very useful in making feminism more palatable to society in general, I agree with you in that she is a little “basic”. The main analogy I’m thinking of here is that while she’s has wonderful intentions and may make conversations start where they might not have otherwise, she’s not necessarily any Angelina Jolie (who is a well-known advocate for her work with UNICEF and many other organizations) or Matt Damon (who’s recently been a strong advocate against fracking and for global access to clean water). Anyways, sorry for the babbling but great job!

  3. You make some interesting points. I’m about to make a super broad statement about something I have little actual knowledge of but, I think people tend to dumb every story down to heroes and villains. Some might think of The Yoncé as a universal hero, or god-like figure, when she has talents AND flaws, just like everyone else. Before Justin Bieber proved himself to be a drugging, drag-racing lunatic, I didn’t understand everyone’s hate for him. I felt like people villainized him just because it was easy. Why do you think close to eight trillion World War II movies have been made? Out of any war, it probably has the most morally justified hero (the allies) and the most visibly evil villain (the axis). It makes for an easy to understand story, and it’s what our minds easily latch on to. Not to mention, it doesn’t disturb anyone’s preconceived notions.

    Another point to be made is about how she got “lucky.” As someone who’s desperately trying to find success in a creative industry, I’ve seen a huge load of people who are leaps and bounds more talented than I could even imagine being. They work hard every day to improve themselves and put themselves out there, but by chance, they don’t get “discovered.” Keep in mind, there’s about ten thousand people, especially online, who have the same level of talent and are also trying to be discovered in the exact same way. It’s also about who you know. I’m pretty sure the star of the show Girls is only there because her dad is a producer or a director or something. Natasha Allegri, one of the storyboard artists on Adventure Time is mostly there because she was friends with the show’s creator. Of course, she is a talented artist and writer, but if she didn’t know Pen Ward, she’d probably have a lot less money and success. Though who knows with her, maybe she would have made something work.

  4. I really like this blog post. I was having a conversation about Beyonce recently at work and some of the things you said in the post were similar to some of my feelings about her and celebrities in general. I think a lot of times we make celebrities immortal and forget that they are humans just like us that share some of the same emotions like sadness or anger. Rutgers is going to have a class about Beyonce next year which is surreal because I see no reason why a class should be dedicated to her. While I do believe that she makes great music and is influential, I also believe there are female role models out there that are more positive than Beyonce but do not get the same recognition.

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