Posted by: jadavis16 | March 20, 2015

Queen Bey Speaks Up

Beyonce.

Her name represents power, confidence, beauty, thoughtfulness, and dedication. Beyonce is a great role model for young girls today. In a world of fake and photo shopped Beyonce brings reality to an industry that strives for an un-achievable perfection. At the beginning of the semester one of the things we read about and discussed is how young girls today are not given an option from a very young age. They are given pink and girly toys. They are expected to play with Barbies and easy bake ovens which only ingrain in them that what they should strive to achieve in life is unreasonable beauty and a house wife status. While a few companies are attempting to create toys not directed towards a certain sex I don’t think that they are making as big of an impact as they could. As we have also read a girls confidence is an inverse bell curve throughout her life. When she is young she believes that she can do anything and that she can take on the world. In her adolescent years her confidence pummels and she becomes extremely self conscious. Then hopefully as she continues throughout adulthood that confidence will slowly continue to grow back. As a young women in her 20s I can attest that this inverse bell curve is an entirely true and is a reality to every woman.

However there are ways that this bell curve can be changed and I believe that it starts with initiatives such as the video above created by Beyonce. What Beyonce expresses in this video is that she is real; she is a human being just like any other woman in the world. She touches on her internal struggles. How to find a balance between work and family. How insecure she is about her own body. How terrified she is about the world she is bringing her daughter up in. How she wants to make a change. This video really hit home with me the first time I saw it. All of a sudden this woman that I viewed as this strong, over confident, beautiful, take no shit kind of girl opened up and showed me that she isn’t super human. She showed vulnerability. She made me realize that she was just like me but with a much bigger paycheck. If more celebrities, men and women, could step up and create a campaign where they expressed their internal struggles and became vulnerable to their audience it would open the door for a new opportunity. Fans, young boys and girls could see that these unreasonable ideals of image and success thrown at them by the media aren’t real. That the people they idealize are just like them.

What do you guys think? Could we change society if more powerful men and women came forward to share their internal struggles? Eventually, could we change the whole idealized image that our society strives for?

Bey is Bae ❤

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Responses

  1. I think seeing celebrities show vulnerability is an amazing way to give young girls confidence, especially girls going through puberty. I remember when I went from a size 0 to a size 5 in like a week. I thought I was fat. It took me years to finally realize that I was developing into a woman and I couldn’t even get skinnier because it was my bone that was causing my size 0 jeans not to fit, not fat. I remember when Adele and Amber Riley were on the covers of magazines saying that it doesn’t matter about your size. You can be beautiful, confident, and successful without a skinny waist. The media is in control of our lives. It is the only mass source we have that we can hear stories around the world. I think if the celebrities in the spotlight of the media try to be more realistic and take control of the media instead of vice versa, then I believe we can change society a little bit. We are a society dominated by media, and it takes those first few brave and confident people to not be controlled anymore. That’s what leadership looks like, and Beyoncé is one kick ass leader.

  2. This was a very intriguing video to watch. I was also really surprised to find out that Beyonce has the same struggles that everyday women go through. It was so interesting to watch because she highlights that when she lost her anonymity, she lost her ability for people to view her as a human being, with emotions and issues of her very own. The public and media has made her out to be this all-powerful goddess but when you take down that mask, she is more of a role model being a woman that works and has a family than as Queen B. I think that if celebrities would do this kind of thing more often, so many people would view gender stereotypes in such different ways. People look up to celebrities blindly, and if they were able to see their insecurities come to light, it would be an amazing and powerful way to get the point across that society needs to change. I think that celebrities are already helping to change the idealized image of what society strives for. I see it in so many media cites that show women on the red carpet refusing to comment on what kind of dress they are wearing and instead attempting to get asked questions about the complexities of the roles that they play. Or people like Ellen DeGeneres, who publicly satirized the “Bic pens for her” saying that of course women need different pens, how did we survive until now? The more that women come out against gendered questions and men come out about being for the feminist cause, the sooner we will find ourselves in a society where this is one of the lesser problems.

  3. I am a big fan of Beyoncé. I think she is extremely talented and understands the art of music. I purchased her visual album and one of my favorite songs is “Love on Top.” I do agree that the video she made shows the human side of her. She talks about her struggles, hardships, and insecurities. The statements she says are true. We do not value ourselves enough. Our bodies are brilliant, even down to a cellular level. They are fascinating and elegant. She talks about being a feminist and defines it. She has a massive (and scary loyal) following, but I do disagree with the double standard she is placing on women today. She wants women (and men) to love who they are and let other people respect and love them as well. Yet, a few months ago she performed for 15 minutes on the MTV video music awards. Her performance was centered around her flawless body, butt, and legs. She has and shows what many humans cannot obtain. Her video “Single Ladies” has 368,246,827 views and gives girls and men an unobtainable image of beauty. In the middle of the MTV performance she is singing about her and Jay-Z and nine women are dancing behind her basically naked (6:40). “Yours and Mine” shows that she too struggles because she is a human, but there is another side of Beyoncé Nation showing girls they are not hot enough, showing men what beautiful looks like, and feeding society another unobtainable expectation to reach. I do hope this idealized image will change, people are pushing back but I never see it happen on a big screen. It gets removed from the air. I have to research it to find famous women breaking the rules. I don’t have to try hard to see false images on my phone, tv, etc. Videos like “Yours and Mine” are great and humanizing, but I wish Beyoncé showed that more in her music videos and performances.

    http://www.mtv.com/ontv/vma/videos/mtv-vma-video-vanguard-medley/1066933/

  4. I also found this video interesting to watch. Beyoncé is an extremely talented and accomplished woman. She is a huge proponent for inner beauty, self acceptance, and feminism. For example, in her song “Flawless” she inserts Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s poserfull speech about feminism. Un-photoshopped pictures were leaked of her, and she did not have a “huge” ordeal or any issue over it. Beyoncé is a huge role model for young women today, and I believe even more so after watching this video. She humanizes herself, she is not the “Queen B ” we all fantasize about.

    I think that if celebrities would humanize themselves and open up to their individual thoughts and feelings to the media (not just commenting on the type of dress they are wearing, or where their newest handbag was purchase) more people would have different views on gender stereotypes. Like I mentioned earlier,celebrities are role models we easily latch on to, and if society was better able to see their insecurities and internal struggles more often, I think it would be a powerful way to change society.

    While I think it is a great way to change society, I feel like these celebrities need to fully embody this image. Needless to say, they need to “walk the walk and talk the talk”. I read Hannah’s comment above and it really intrigued me. I have to agree that some of Beyoncé’s dance videos and performances go against what she advocates for in the posted video. This could create ambiguity and confusion for what she really represents.

    (I’m still a Queen B fan though ❤ )

  5. I agree with Hannah and Katelin, while it’s fantastic that Beyoncé opened up and told the world about her struggles, her music videos do sexualize women. So many young girls look up to Beyoncé, so it’s great that she does admit to not being perfect and having difficulties of her own, she still dances somewhat provocatively and her dancers are dressed skimpily. While I realize this is somewhat of a necessity in the music industry, what is it teaching young girls? That they have to dance provocatively or wear skimpy outfits in order to be beautiful and successful? Beyoncé is not only beautiful and talented, she is also intelligent. I think she could be a great tool for changing how society views women because of that intelligence as well as how many men and women who idolize and worship her.

  6. There are sacrifices that individuals face, regardless of the occupation they choose or of their social status. Being famous requires one to sacrifice privacy and to be constantly subject to criticisms about parenting, weight, work, etc. Beyoncé is a strong role model for young girls because she is a confident and charismatic. Her willingness to share her individual struggles with the world just makes her more amazing, if that is even possible. That being said, most girls realize at a very young age that they are not going to be the next Beyoncé and see her more as an ideal than as someone that they could actually become. Thus, executives, business men and women, and other individuals become more important in the development of young children, despite their lack of fame. If more men and women came forward to talk about their individual struggles and personal issues then it would likely have an even greater effect in allowing young boys and girls to envision themselves in a wider variety of roles. Moreover, the aforementioned practice would help young children to see that they do not have to be perfect to achieve and maintain high level leadership positions. I am not sure how realistic this is for executives to participate in, despite all of the possible positive benefits to young people. As a pop culture icon, Beyoncé has the ability to present herself as vulnerable and received adoration, rather than scorn. Executives are subject to a different form of judgement that is harsher and less overt. Something as well-meaning as sharing a story of insecurities can work against someone in a professional job. In order to allow such openness to become normal, social norms would have to change and people would have to interact in a way that allowed them to act vulnerable. I think that Beyoncé’s video is inspiring and that if more individuals did this, future generations would understand that nobody is perfect and that they can achieve success despite flaws, but that such a practice is unrealistic because of social constraints in the modern world.

  7. I think one of they major problems with society is that girls look up to women who are in Beyonce’s position. But not everyone idolizes women like Beyonce, they see Lindsay Lohan and other women who are in the spot light that are perfectly thin and do nothing to make money. There need to be more celebrities like Beyonce who give girls someone to look up to. She is a woman who has gone through the same struggles as every girl and is open about it. Young girls look at celebrities and are willing to do anything to be them. But celebrities who are in the lime light are women who don’t work and live unhealthy lifestyles. So young girls are striving to be pretty and popular instead of confident and determined. Young girls don’t want to be bosses, they want to be trophies that people admire. Younger girls need mentors to show them that they can do anything and be anything. Mentoring is a very important part of of inspiring young women to be leaders and want to become leaders. Women like Beyonce represent strong women who value success. It would be beneficial for girls to have role models who represented a realistic version of a woman who gained success. I also think it’s important for girls to look up to political leaders and women who are in charge of non profits. We need to give girls more mentors than celebrities, we need girls to look up to women who are advocates so they too can be advocates of the fight for equality.

  8. First off, I love Beyonce and I consider her to be one of my biggest role models. She uses her fame and success to empower women, rather than objectify and set unrealistic standards for them. My favorite thing about Beyonce is that she recently had a child and continued her career through it all, releasing her huge video album so quickly after giving birth. She is able to proudly maintain her family life with her child and husband, while still being one of the most influential musicians of the time. It’s stories like hers that show the potential that young women have. Because Beyonce is so powerful in the music industry and is so often in the limelight, young women are able to watch her life unfold, as she balances her life as a mother and as a musician. Videos like this one show that she is human, just like the rest of us. I think these sorts of videos are powerful tools that need to be utilized. When powerful women (and men) open up in ways like this, it makes those who look up to them understand that everyone shares similar struggles that can be overcome. If more celebrities or other powerful figures were able to open up to the public like Beyonce has, I think it would create an overall more realistic view of the world for young people. To humanize these powerful figures will give young people a sense that they are able to achieve the same successes if they work hard enough, rather than feeling that their lives simply won’t allow it.

  9. I know this may be against popular opinion, but I’ve never really loved Beyonce’s music, but I do appreciate her expression of being imperfect in the video. It’s odd to think about really, but it feels like she’s even more idolized as “Queen Bee” because of her humble and vulnerable side she allows her fans to see, yet she’s still called perfect from her fans constantly. I think viewing celebrities as perfect beings is changing from viewing appearance as perfection to a good personality as perfection. I think it’s great to have role models to look up to and find inspiration, but I wish idolizing these celebrities would stop. Even if celebrities quit looking glamorous going to the grocery store and look more like the everyday person, if the public continues to idolize them as these perfect beings then the pressure to be them is still not changing the mindset of society, which I find to be the most important.
    Yes, it would be great if music and television made celebrities more ‘real,’ but it doesn’t stop the message of objectifying women and men and stereotyping them into acting his/her gender. Maybe with influential people like Beyonce putting out content that’s less gendering and putting out the messages of being yourself through her own example then it will start a chain reaction with other celebrities to change the messages being put out into the public. I think that if more media broke down these expectations for men and women, that the rest of society would feel much less pressure to fulfill these gender roles. I hope this changing that Beyonce is trying to bring forth is contagious, but until then, all we can do it keep trying.

  10. While I love the message here, and the vulnerability, I think it is not the end all be all cure for what afflicts our society. It is definitely a step in the right direction to share the inner struggles that highly public figures face, but I think it has the potential to backfire. If this vulnerability allows more women and men to connect on a personal level, it might make them idolize the person more out of respect and still cause gendered issues even if what they are saying is the opposite. I do think the realistic view that everyone is human and has their struggles and mistakes is a great message to society as a whole though. Be it a boy or a girl saying it, it unites us as humans with feelings and internal beings and not just units separated by our gender. Society is taking a step in the right direction and I think by allowing us all to truly connect as human beings it may take the focus away from identifying with only our gender as male and female. This also applied to leadership in that we should focus on uniting as leaders and not as women leaders and men leaders.

  11. I have been thinking about different ways that change can occur within our society since the start of the class. Society as a whole is really influence by social media and the famous people that they tend to track. I could compare the thought process of equality of women to fashion trends; you want to replicate the Hollywood icons and the up in coming stars fashion chooses. So when a celebrity like Beyonce step on the stage and declare that she is a feminist and want equality for the sexes then the people who see her as a role model will then say that they want the same and that might be a great way to influence change.


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