Tuesday, November 12, 2013

On Beyonce

"You know girls love Beyonce"...I mean really what's not to love about Queen Bey? She's beautiful, talented, puts on a hell of a performance, seems personable, and she's a successful female. For most intents and purposes, she's Superwoman. I am a fan...however, I have a very love-hate relationship with how she shaped (or at least aided in shaping) my generation's mind. I love/hate Beyonce.

"Girls love to eff with your conscience"...circa 2000, Destiny's Child dropped "Independent Women" on the soundtrack of the new adaptation of "Charlie's Angels".  Then, the world went to hell. Ok, not really but it was the beginning of the end. Maybe it just happened to be fortuitous timing, or maybe it was some evil culture shaper's plan but nonetheless "independent women" started popping up everywhere. Even people that weren't yet women, and damn sure not independent...like my friends. We were in like 6th grade! We were impressionable and so the seed was planted that we should be independent. And this seed has proven strong, it doesn't help that Queen Bey has continued to release song after song attempting to "empower" women but falling short (i.e. Single Ladies). [I'm probably losing readers left and right lol..."don't talk bad about Beyonce!"]

"And shawty you ain't no different"...in layman, independent means "by yo' damn self"...why the hell would I wanna be by myself (I knew back in 6th grade that shit didn't sound right)?? Now that we are actually women, why would I WANT to do everything myself, or navigate all the twists and turns life has by myself? It just doesn't make sense. I've been in several debates in college about "being independent" and I still think women (and now men) have taken it to the extreme. Can I pay my own bills? Yes, but I sureeeee as hell love not having to! Can I be strong when I need to? Yes, but I definitely love having another set of legs to stand on sometimes. Can women please themselves? With the help of technology, I've heard great things but those things don't cuddle with you afterwards. So what part of being independent sounds appealing?? Not to mention the pressure that comes from carrying life's burdens alone, don't you want to be able to share that be it financially, mentally and emotionally?

"That's why I'm in this position"...This is not to say that I think women shouldn't work outside the home, or have their own cars and bank accounts.  Perhaps, the song should have been "Self-Sufficient Women" and I wouldn't have so many qualms with it...but I get it, that's not as catchy ;)

"No new friends, no no no"...women have taken this independence so far that (I've heard it said) they've run good men away. I believe it to an extent. Firstly, men are traditionally the head of the household. We've all heard the Bible verses that support this saying. Rather you believe in the Bible or not, gender roles in society have supported this notion. I don't have a man's ego but I can imagine how a woman continuously telling him she's "independent" could harm that...or just be damn annoying! Secondly, women have taken financial independence to mean much more than it does. Having your own money is great, and it is something that differs a lot than our grandparent's generation when the husband brought home the bacon. Money, however, isn't everything in life or in a relationship. If you aren't more than money, you aren't much anyway.  On the other hand, I've heard it said that men have let it go to their heads and are now looking for "suga mamas" within all these "independent women". Hahaha...that just made me laugh. I have no clue if there's truth in that...I'll let y'all sort that one out.

Circa 2008...we learned that Beyonce gave up that "independent woman" thing and married Jay. You ladies better learn it too. She still makes the occasional song for you so you don't feel too bad listening to "1 + 1" all day ;) I love that song...gotta love/hate Queen Bey!

Disclaimer: The lyrics that begin every paragraph are from Drake's "Girls Love Beyonce".

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