I swore I wasn’t going to write a Beyonce think piece but dammit, I gotta say something.
I have been reading a bunch of other articles, both defending and complaining about Beyonce’s Grammy performance. Some felt it was too sexy and demeaning while others didn’t see what all the hullabaloo was about but one common theme I saw was the mention of her being a mother and wife. The critics felt her behavior wasn’t becoming of someone that is hitched with a baby while others felt like her performance was acceptable since she has a husband. Honestly, I think both ideas are a tad bit problematic.
Like every other stan in the country, I was watching the performance as it happened and although it was a tad boring compared to her other stuff, I still got my life because Beyonce. I bought her newest album when it came out and while some parts made me blush initially, I liked that Beyonce was owning her sexuality. I enjoyed seeing her stripper kick in the Drunk in Love video, writhe in pleasure in Paritition and shake her fatty in Blow and I would have felt the same way if she was single. Unless you’re harming another person, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to get your rocks off, married or not. In some people’s version of a perfect world, everyone would meet “the one” as virgin, screw them after the ring and live happily ever after. I hate to break to them but that ain’t realistic and honestly, everybody aint about that picket fence life. If I don’t want to marry, I have every right to get my itches scratched and so does everyone else. If my itch gets scratched by one person or many, that’s my business.
Another issue I have with this married argument is that it promotes the idea that women, especially wives and mothers, are supposed to be one-dimensional. Yes, Beyonce was busting it for a real goon on that Grammy stage but she has plenty of other performances where she wasn’t shaking something. Her new album wasn’t just sex either. The song Blue was dedicated to her baby girl while Pretty Hurts addressed our society’s rigid beauty standards. Other songs covered topics like jealousy, loss of a loved one and affirmation of oneself and their flawlessness. Needless to say, Beyonce isn’t a one-trick pony. She ain’t Whitney Houston or Lil Kim and she shouldn’t have to choose between one or the other. If Beyonce wants to twerk for some, let her do it. If she wants to belt a ballad at the top of her lungs in a long flowy gown, by all means.
I understand that we want to teach our kids that sex isn’t the only way they should strive to get attention but trying to neuter and cover up everyone isn’t the way to go. Instead of trying to snatch Beyonce and Rihanna off the air, we need to work on introducing the kids to other imagery so they can be a balanced media consumer. Let them listen to a little Michael Jackson and Jill Scott while you take them to school. Take them to events that expose them to other parts of the arts. Do things with them that actually takes effort instead of hiding everything from them because you think they’ll get corrupted at the sight of a shaking ass.
But, that’s just me. Let me go back to iTunes so I can sit my aaaaaasssssss…..on my bed.