Last night the 31st annual MTV video Music Awards aired on the channel and for maybe the first time in my life, I was feeling a giant 'eh' about tuning in. Frankly, I gave up on my excitement for the award show when *NYSNC reunited for six seconds (or maybe when I realized Britney never won a Moonman for Toxic). But in the name of Queen Beysus, I made the effort. What I was confronted with was a cringe-worthy wardrobe malfunction, Taylor Swift's mechanical pop performance, and a confusing (although plenty welcome) jump by Miley Cyrus into the world of social justice. It all left me rubbing at my face in boredom until the final moments when a proclamation came from reigning Queen-of-Everything Beyonce that we here at Feminasty have all been dying to see.
It's one thing to release a clandestine album in the middle of the night with no press and no warning, bombarding us with a bevy of different versions of Bey- the warrior, the jilted lover, the pagent queen, the feminist-
Wait. The feminist? Yes.
The moment Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's voice rang through the break in ***Flawless, I might have died. I might have squealed and fell off my bed in excitement as I realized just how incredible this was.
It's rare to find a woman in Hollywood these days who embraces the term. It's even more rare to find someone who would so brashly throw it in your face while moshing in the middle of a grainy black and white video with those (aesthetically unpleasing) denim cut-offs. But no matter the setting, it was there- Beyonce's declaration of her own empowerment and it was incredible.
Call me biased, but I've been in love with Beyonce ever since she graced the cover of GQ in nothing more than her underwear talking to an audience who'd never listen otherwise about the myth of gender equality.
Leave it to Fox News to miss the point.
In a recent article (one I refuse to link so deal with that Hollie McKay), the Fox News correspondent questioned the authenticity of Beyonce's feminism due to the slinky body suit she chose to wore on stage, the barely dressed dancers behind her, and the provocative dancing (which, come on, was that not incredible to watch?).
"The popular entertainer also seemed to ensure her behind was the focus on each song, all the while educating young viewers about feminism through the words of the Chimanda Ngozi [sic] speech she borrows in the track '***Flawless.'"
Spelling Adichie's name wrong aside, the nature of Beyonce's sexuality becomes the entire focus of the article, lambasting the star for daring to embrace her sexiness.
Is it not possible to wear a leotard and sing through the nuances of her album? To talk about love and heartbreak and freedom and children and oppression? Do you instantly stop listening because glitter is there to distract you?
When you stop listening just to focus on what she's wearing, do you not become a hypocrite in your own critique?