I’ve seen a lot of hate directed at Beyoncé lately, and to be honest I wasn’t that interested, Beyoncé is pretty and rich enough to fight her own battles. But the venom directed at her after her Grammy performance has left me pondering over what really lies behind the criticism of a 32 year old grown woman choosing to dress how she wants, expressing her sexuality and fantasy. I am convinced that some of the backlash gives us an insight into society’s expectation of married women. We still live in a culture that feels more comfortable in putting women in boxes; a culture that wants to shut its eyes to women’s sexuality especially as we get older, become wives, and mothers. Beyonce’s new song ‘drunk in love’ pisses on that notion. Why can’t Beyoncé talk about surfing on her man’s wood, pouring on it, surfing on it” Sex is an intrinsic part of who we are and yes married women and mothers like to get down too. Beyoncé is a performer whose authenticity and connection with her fans relies on her keeping her lyrics real and relatable. We all danced and clapped to “Put a ring on it” because we all know assholes who missed out on putting a ring on it. We all whooped to “to the left, to the left’ because women related to kicking some undeserving guys to the curb”. Her sexuality is as much a part of her as any of those lyrics. and I personally have no issue with her singing about it.
They say Beyoncé is a slut, a whore, a disgrace, and a bad role model for gyrating and dry humping on stage; too raunchy, too debauch. Apparently this is completely inappropriate for children to see, honestly, I’m tired of this argument, anyway my own children were in bed, and yes I would have let them watch Beyoncé and Jay Z’s PDA. I would have explained that this is a performance. And that Beyoncé’s attire or lingerie was stage outfit, no different to what Pink swung on ropes in, and more appropriate than Miley Cyrus’s flesh coloured knicker set – and even that I had no problem with. But it’s not just the outfit bugging people is it? One viewer wrote on Facebook “Aren’t you a mother now!!? Thought you had more class, how trashy. It is this wife and mother thing that is really winding some people up.
I hear you shout well what about the lyrics!? What about the lurid sexual content. Well my children wouldn’t have understood the lyrics, look, even at 14 when I sang the lyrics to ” I wanna sex you up” by Color Me Bad I didn’t quite appreciate the meaning. And if you are of Nigerian heritage I will refer you to some equally sexual lyrics by the maestro of Afro Juju, king Sunny Ade “what do you desire, what do you desire, sweet banana, sweet banana” and that’s one of the tamer ones! I sang these songs, loved the melodies, but I promise you, at 7 or 8 I had no interest in analysing the lyrics, as we now assume all young people do. And if my children were teenagers why shouldn’t they listen to a woman describing how she gives and takes pleasure.
What about the reference to the domestic violence suffered by Tina Turner’ Jay Z not only refers to himself as Ike Turner but alludes to one of the most harrowing scene in ‘What’s love got to do with it’ “ Now eat the cake Anna Mae’. Now I struggled with this one. It is uncomfortable, but only when you take the lyrics literary. consider the lyrics in the context of – a sexual tale of two consenting adults – and you may see that it simply is a reference to Jay Z’s sexual prowess, the lyrics move from recounting sexual exploits to sharing their fantasies – the Anna Mae reference is possibly a glimpse into their sexual fantasies. Now you may think this is all too much to put out, and I get that, but Beyoncé’s is an artist, her art form requires expression, and yes this may include sexual expression, more than anything else she is a grown woman ……. Now you know how that tune ends.
I am not a hater. Lupita is wildly talented. But seriously, people are beginning to get on my nerves with comments about how refreshing her dark afro and dark skin tone is ” oh it’s so nice to see a different type of black beauty represented in mainstream media”
Alek Wek and Grace Jones must be fuming!!!! What? they weren’t pretty and cuddly enough? To be honest I’m not even bothered about people so quickly wanting to forget about the powerful images these women put out, it’s all good. What’s irritating, is that people aren’t commenting on the beautiful Lupita and leaving it at that, they are making these comments, and simultaneously ridiculing other stunningly beautiful black women, calling them out for being fairer, all weaved up and overtly sexual. So here is my gripe, we as black women cannot expect others to embrace the diverse beauty amongst us when we don’t do the same ourselves. I celebrate Lupita for her talent, beauty, elegance and style. I equally celebrate Beyoncé for her full on, in your face weaved up, 24 inch Peruvian hair, fanning!!!!. We don’t have to have a one in, one out mentality, freedom comes from embracing diversity. Can I finish by calling out some hypocrites!!! All of a sudden these dudes are checking on Lupita abi? When was the last time you saw a fine bro with a Gorimapa Lupita look alike? And to all my beautiful sisters shouting about how much her look is refreshing, ” Lupita this, Lupita that”, abegiiiiiiiiiiiii when was the last time you stepped out in your natural afro.?