Beyonce: role model?

(8 Posts)
PromQueenWithin Fri 26-Apr-13 11:30:26

Guardian link

I think that the author of this article has misinterpreted the letter to MA. Deliberately, or unintentionally, not so sure...

blackcurrantjan Sat 27-Apr-13 23:10:24

I have to say I agree with the article. I know I can't speak for Michelle Obama but I would interpret her describing Beyonce as a role model differently than Rahki Kumar. I dont think she meant she wanted her daughters to be popstars like Beyonce but more that she would be glad if they had Beyonce as an idol and someone to look up to as opposed to other celebrities. I remember growing up during the Spice Girl era and we would all pick a Spice Girl to pretend to be and sing their songs and do their dance routines. I would rather my dd singing along to 'Independent Woman' then Britney Spears' 'I'm a slave for you'. I don't no why some feminists are against Beyonce, but I'm not that well read in the feminist steaks so I dont know really, whats your opinion OP? smile

blackcurrantjan Sat 27-Apr-13 23:51:43

*than. Also I don't think Beyonce can be summed up as "looking hot, being desired by alpha males, wielding power over others with her body and sexuality" like the letter says because most of Beyonces fans are female.

PromQueenWithin Sat 27-Apr-13 23:51:46

"if you like it then you should'a put a ring on it;
don't be mad when you see that he wants it"

Beyonce is successful and makes nice songs. As a role model, I don't like some of the cultural values she appears to subscribe to, i.e. that women are validated by the way they look and their ability to attract an alpha male. Or at the very least, she gives the appearance of tolerating these values.

She does not appear to be particularly independent, though clearly she is now very wealthy. Perhaps she does valuable work behind this image, but it's the image that's presented for girls and women to aspire to.

That's what I think.

blackcurrantjan Sun 28-Apr-13 01:35:19

My interpretation of ''If you like it then you should have put a ring a it" is that she is singing about an ex who broke up with her leaving her (or an imaginary woman) devastated. "Just cried my tears for three good years". Then he sees her getting on with her life, out enjoying herself with another man and gets jealous, so she says "If you like it then you should have put a ring on it", meaning that she wanted a commited relationship and wasn't going to settle for anything less, .i.e be used for sex. I don't really see anything wrong with that.

Maybe it does signify being validated for your looks, that she has attracted this other man to her in a nightclub and her ex is jealous because of this? But I think people, both men and women are first attracted to the opposite sex by looks if they meet in a pub or nightclub because they dont know each other. Men approach women they find attractive and vice versa. Thats why people dress up to go out socially, because they want to attract the opposite sex. Obviously when they talk to each other they're attraction for each other will be more determined on personality but first impressions would normally be based on looks. I don't think theres anything wrong with that? Or maybe I'm misunderstanding your point.

And why is she not independent? because she was managed by her father/husband? Everyone in the music industry has managers, I don't see what is wrong with having a member of your family as your manager, particularily because she started out very young. I remember watching a documentary about Britney Spears which said that her management encouraged her to portray Christian values and say that she was waiting for marriage to have sex, while at the same time singing sexually suggestive songs, because they believed this would make her more popular (presumably among dirty old men) and that this was part of the reason she had a breakdown.

Beyonce's father would have protected her from such exploitation because he was her father aswell as her manager and didn't just see her as a money making tool. I know that sound a bit patriarchal, presuming a father knows whats best for his daughter but if her mother was her manager it would be the same thing.

ParmaViolette Sun 28-Apr-13 01:54:37

I think the trouble comes in when you define things as feminist role models and just normal role models really.

I've heard of the article as opposed to reading it (phone is crap tonight) but as a feminist I wish no ill will against Beyoncé, love her songs and think she's probably a good female role model when you look at celebrities like Rihanna and Lindsay Lohan- but this lipstick feminist 'I think it's bad women are told what should be sexy' by men whilst writhing round in a basque that shows her flange is something that I don't want to be attributed to a feminist icon.

The feminists don't hate Beyoncé and aren't out to get Beyoncé- we just don't want to swoon over her because she wrote the equality promoting glass ceiling shattering lyric 'who run the world? Girls!'

(Because Bey, they fucking don't)

So yeah celebrity female icon, yeah- she's a nice 'un who doesn't Instagram pictures of weed and attack toilet attendants, but feminist icon? No no no no

nerofiend Sun 28-Apr-13 13:47:17

Haven't read all replies, but I have seen and heard Beyonce talk in a interview the other day. She seems a nice and intelligent woman to me but my only problem with what she does on stage is that she seems to comply to an constructed ideal among young girls, mainly, that you can only be really successful as a womanif you're tall, and pretty and have a good body and know how to move it. That doesn't mean that these girls are stupid, or that they don't know anything about the society they live in.

The problem is even though Beyonce is probably well aware of the male powers structures in which she operates, and well aware that women are always paid less, that they have to prove themselves in whatever they do, but she's still doing exactly what in many ways, contributes to that happening: that is using your body and image as your strongest weapon for survival.

So I would tell my daughters to think carefully about what Beyonce ultimately represents in society. Also, let's not forget that the whole Beyonce business is just a media construct to produce money, some which goes to her, but most of it goes to the powerful men behind her who run the real show (and without having to shake their booties!)

I consider myself a feminist and have nothing against Beyonce as a person. In fact, I really liked her. I have a problem with Beyonce's as a marketing product and the media image that she portrays. I'd be worried if my daughters followed her example blindly without thinking more deeply about it.

TeiTetua Sun 28-Apr-13 16:05:07

I have to question the skimpy clothing. Of course it's a well-established pattern that women pop singers will flash some skin around, but if a woman's being singled out as a role model, couldn't it be someone who avoids that particular pattern? Of course it's true that male performers are considered sexy by their fans too, but that seems to happen regardless of what they wear.

Like this:
static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/About/General/2013/4/5/1365179484885/Pepsi-Super-Bowl-XLVII-Ha-008.jpg

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