What does Beyoncé really stand for?

By Tori Sundholm

I dropped my Tostitos chip covered in queso when Beyoncé graced the T.V. – the time had finally come. All other time stopped while Beyoncé served 104 million viewers with her glittering vocals and gravity-defying choreography. At minute four Chris Martin popped up to sing backup vocals as if to remind everyone he was still there. Bruno Mars & co. did a couple two-step shuffles in an attempt to keep the party going, but Beyoncé ran the show.

At the end of every Beyoncé performance I’m left in awe, barely able to comprehend what I just witnessed, let alone understand what she said. At 17, I saw Beyoncé at the Target Center, packed in the fourth row of a mosh pit like a London tube rider. In between the drag queens and angsty tweens, my best friend and I held our own amid the mob, climbing over a girl who passed out to get a closer view of Queen B. A security guard jumped the metal barrier and carried her to safety. I almost trampled a girl in the name of Bey! Her performance had turned me into a ravaging member of her Beyhive.

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This same type of trance took over me while watching the Super Bowl 50 halftime show. What is it about Beyoncé that makes me lose myself and my morals? Usually after my Bey-trance breaks, her booty shaking and provocative dances make me question the message she’s sending to her fans. Is beauty really about wearing skin tight clothes and shaking what your momma gave you?

I’m all about girl power, but is the ability to throw explicits out like candy at a parade really what women should strive for? I’m not convinced that’s girl power. Teaching women to flaunt their bodies and say what they want regardless of the consequences doesn’t work in the real world. It would be nice if the Bey-trance never broke and we all could live in her world, but that’s not the reality most women face.

There are millions of Beyoncé critics who argue she used the Super Bowl platform as an anti-police attack. Others viewed her performance as a homage to black power and black life. But what I think also needs to be talked about is what her performance says about beauty and how we as women perceive her sexual performances along with her explicit lyrics.

What do you think Beyoncé really stands for?

Can everyday women be empowered by her or are we all fooling ourselves that Beyoncé only runs her world, not ours?

Let’s talk.

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