I’m asking for a barrage of hell with the fury unlike any other. As I do the unthinkable, and raise an eyebrow at Beyonce’s latest album offering.
Now before your blood hits boiling temperature, I plead with you to bear in mind I am one of the biggest Beyonce fans I know. When I took my job on the official chart, I cited the opportunity to meet her, as my sole incentive for doing the show. I was exaggerating… but the love was there. She was my pillar of strength for women in media. Someone who never had to bend to the rules of the man to sell a record. She was a bit sexual but in an empowering and dominating way. And, most importantly, the sexuality was only one of her supreme gifts. There was her incredible choreography, her startling voice, and her gift for not just a song, but a bloody anthem.
In and amongst a year of what seems like female sexploitation in music gone mad… she was always the lighthouse giving us hope that there was a direction you could take that went against the tide and landed you beautifully on the shore of success.
That lighthouse has now faded. It has lost its power a little. It’s harder to see. Harder to follow.
When I first bought the visual album I went straight for the videos. And drowned in my own bias, at first, I was blown away. Simply because she is so spectacularly beautiful it is hard to even contemplate. Her body is that of one that must have been crafted by the gods, her flair for mastering every style and look available to women, and above all else, that voice. A one in a million sound. I was clapping in glee, jumping up and down, rejoicing at what was the art, the colour, the visuals, the care taken with each and every video, the statements, the queen of performance captivating you on every level.
But…by the time I had worked all the way through the album to get to Flawless… that excitement had waned somewhat. I was exhausted. I had to stop and catch my breath. I felt as if i had overdosed on booty. I had been deafened by what I had seen. I’d not been able to take in the music because I was so distracted by what was starting to feel like a Little Kim extravaganza…
Flawless is a phenomenal song, with a brilliant video! Why is she wearing lingerie in a WAR with her underboob out, totally pointlessly? Come on now B….
Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Miley, Iggy Azaelea, what separates Beyonce anymore? These are just talented women who have talked themselves into the idea, SET BY MEN, that a woman’s sexuality sells above all else. They have deluded themselves into thinking it’s “feminism” if you get your fanny out on “your terms.” Feminism is equality. Jay z doesn’t get his balls out (Thank jesus) to sell a record. Naturally, in Beyonce’s videos, he’s fully clothed, watching her, practically nude, dance for him, be it on a chaise longue, a pole, a piano, a steering wheel… She’s at HIS service. “She just wants to be the kind of girl he likes… she keeps singing.” What’s the message here? Like me because I am here to dance for you to service you, to be YOUR fantasy, i cooked for you naked, blah blah blah. Naked naked naked, boobs boobs boobs, sex sex sex, fanny fanny fanny…. ARRRRGGGGHHHH!
What’s the point? That women can be sexual?
Ok. So… What stimulates YOU beyonce? What do YOU like to see? What do you think women will find arousing to watch while they listen to your songs? What turns YOU on beyonce? Because so far it’s only your underboob I am marvelling at. It’s your buttocks spread apart by a pole, it’s you airhumping a piano… for a man who is sitting in a chair silently watching you.
Or you’re rope dancing with another practically naked girl, for Jay Z (fully clothed again….) or dancing in the headlights of a car in your underwear, for Jay Z, (fully clothed.) He then takes your clothes off. We don’t even see his elbow…
Even in Blow, an empowering song about oral sex for a woman’s pleasure, it’s just half naked girls shimmying at the camera. Sausage free zone.
Where are the naked men? Why aren’t they swinging round a pole? Why am I not seeing a drop of sweat hike it’s way slowly down the curves of a man’s chest and abs?
I am also curious as to why the most incredible looking woman alive, with access to the most beautiful clothes in the world, all of which she can wear like no-one else, is in her pants for almost every. single. video. Did the video budget mean she had to forego wardrobe for 17 videos?
IS IT POSSIBLE…(I am merely querying, not stating…) is it possible at all that in a climate of women OUT-FANNYING each other to sell records… a la Miley, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna… doing everything other than having a live smear test on stage, that Beyonce has succumbed to what gets attention? Has she watched Ms Cyrus become a worldwide generational sensation purely for being overtly hypersexed with an added dose of shock value? Has she watched the world celebrate Rihanna in all her naked and “fierce”glory and decided that if you can’t beat it, you join it, you do it better and on a bigger budget?
Ok so she wins. She has been the most shocking, the sexiest, the fiercest of 2013 (and maybe all time). But what has been lost? Our idea that the most powerful woman in music doesn’t need to use her decorated glutes to push ahead in the world.
It’s so depressing it has taken me so long to even get to the music. Is the album good? There is some fine work there, Flawless being a stroke of genius. Blow another smash hit. WOULD the album get such applause without the videos? I am not so sure. Had she been an unknown and we had just heard the record, would we have dedicated a day to talking about it? I cannot say for sure that it would.
The messages are strong and at times very admirable. You should be happy with your looks, standard, you should enjoy sex and not be ashamed of doing so, good and true, Cunnilingus is a right not a privellege, marvellous stuff, You should love your baby, yes, You should be a powerful woman. Bang on babe.
But all of it is just visually drenched in sex and bum. It’s soaked all the way through. The way that gravy dominates the taste of food. Enhancing it at times for sure, but essentially masking the essence of what is presented on the plate. Are our palettes so amateur we can no longer appreciate a good piece of music without seeing a woman’s inner thigh? Is it our fault? Have we driven these women to it?
On the plus side, thanks to the volume of images of Beyonce behaving like a (Bloody amazingly beautiful) stripper… and the lengths she goes to to push the boundary… I don’t know where else everyone can go now? She’s done it all pretty much.
Rihanna must have thrown her computer out of the window upon consuming Bey’s new style. Miley would have shat her actual pants. (If she was even wearing pants…)
Maybe this will spark something new? Women in music almost have no choice but to find another way to express their sound without using their bare skin so relentlessly. Otherwise now they just look like a cheap Beyonce copy… Maybe she has done us all a service?
I’m so bored of having to use my eyes to hear a woman’s music nowadays.
I agree your sexuality is an important and beautiful part of being a woman. But remember, it is not all of you. It is not the coat you have to wear to make people curious to see what is underneath. Flourish in the deliciousness that is a woman’s right to an assortment of delights.
She is still one of the most incredible women in entertainment’s history, and as far as female artists emulating strippers as of late goes… she is the BEST. She killed it, but along with that, she took down a little slice hope for the next generation.
Sex sells sex sells sex sells… Women are selling it… and yet we appear to be making a loss.
Is that good business?