Queen Bey, Mrs Carter, Blue Ivy’s Mum – Call her whatever you want but make sure you include the title of ‘Influential Role Model’
The 4th of September will always be known for one thing and one thing only – Beyonce’s Bey Day. As she celebrates her 33rd birthday, I feel that it’s only right to pay homage to Mrs Carter herself and the influence she has on many women across the globe. There’s no denying that musically Beyonce is an icon in her own right especially to today’s generation (you only have to look at that VMA performance) but what rarely gets mentioned or acknowledge is the power that she rightly holds as an influential role model. Don’t believe me just look at TIME’s list of most influential people released earlier this year.
Source: Irish Mirror
One of the first things I admire about Beyonce (aside from her ability to dance like that in heels – I’ve tried, it’s literally impossible) is her ability to handle herself in a world where wanting to know about a celebrity's every move reigns supreme and can become an obsession to some. In the early days of Destiny’s Child, Bey was able to keep her private life private therefore forcing people to focus on her incredible talent. Social media and reality TV, allows us to know more about a celebrity than our own families, it’s refreshing for me to see someone who has spent the majority of her life in the limelight still be shrouded with an air of mystery. For instance we will never really know what really happened in that lift but as Beyonce said, “Of course sh*t go down when it’s a billion dollars on an elevator.”
As with the Solange Vs Jay Z incident, Beyonce is no stranger to controversy but what makes her different from so many of her famous peers, who would much rather go on a twitter rant, is the way in which she handles the situations. If she’s not addressing them via her music (à la the Flawless remix), she’s singing live at press conferences (remember the infamous – ‘any questions?’) or letting her mum silence the haters.
When it comes to controversy the 33-year-old is not immune to criticism, which of course is fair because we are all entitled to our own opinions and not everybody is going to like you, even if you are Beyonce Knowles-Carter. Like many other females in the industry most of the criticism derives from her musical content and how she presents herself in her music videos which some deem to be too sexual. Because really, how can a grown woman be seen to express or embrace her sexual side in this day and age, let’s leave that to the men right?
Beyonce’s recent self-titled album saw her reveal another layer to herself (pun intended) which many embraced but for others it was all too much and the focus was once again on the topic of how women like Beyonce could possibly consider themselves are role models or feminists with songs 'Partition'. Take American political commentator, Bill O’Reilly comments for example or that time the Metro Newspaper called Beyonce a whore in a headline about her Grammy performance earlier this year. There must’ve been some confusion as to what constitutes as a whore but that’s whole other article for another time.
Comments and opinions like the ones above, makes me think of Nigerian writer and feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who justly comments on Beyonce’s song Flawless that: “We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are”. Couldn’t have said it better myself Chimamanda.
Forget the fact that Beyonce IS in fact a role model because she isn’t afraid to take hold of and own being a “sexual being”. She’s also a role model because despite this side of her she also commands an air of respect and class showing women that it’s also important to have good home training, be able to speak your mind and feel 'goddamn fine' and for those like herself who balance being a mother and having a career it is in fact possible all whilst staying flawless.
Words: Sandra Aggrey
Sandra Grey is a 21 year old aspiring writer/ journalist – might or might not be slightly obsessed with all things entertainment and celebrity (particularly if it involves Beyonce Giselle Knowles- Carter)