Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Queen Bey

Marge Piercy said: "A strong woman is a woman determined to do something others are determined not be done." Tell us about a time when you did what couldn't be done.

I don't have an answer to this right now although it is a great prompt and something I hope to answer personally at the end of 2014.  I want to do something unique and "something that others are determined not be done."  If God gives me the grace, I hope to complete a historical fiction novel of my own.

I do however have many female role models, both celebrity and non-celebrity, who have done something that others determined not be done.  One of these role models for me is none other than superstar Ms. Beyonce Knowles.  As many of you know, Queen Bey dropped her album on Dec 14 just after midnight on the east coast.  She debuted her 14-track self-titled album on itunes.  There was no pre-promotion or singles to promote the album.  She did what had never been done before.  And her album has been at the top of the album charts for weeks now.  My mind is still boggled by how she kept recording such a huge album secret.  Not to mention all of her video shoots for the visual component of the album.

I have appreciated Beyonce's music since her Destiny's Child days.  I remember dragging my poor Mother to Wal-mart for a chance to see Beyonce, Kelly and Michelle at the 'Survivor' album debut.  Why do I love Beyonce so much?  She is not only beautiful and talented but a strong, positive role model for women.  She has succeeded on her on own terms in the music industry.  I think her most recent album is her best so far.  The album, like Beyonce the artist, is intelligent, vulnerable, honest, creative, fierce, sensual and yes, sexual.  She is a feminist and defines the term in her song "Flawless" through an excerpt from author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's writing.  One line that I love from Chinamanda's excerpt: 

     "We raise girls to be competitors not for jobs or accomplishments which I think would be a good thing but for the attention of men.  We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.  Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes."

Beyonce set a new precedent with this surprise visual album drop on itunes and I wouldn't be surprised if her peers follow suit with this model.  I expect that Beyonce will continue to do things that others say cannot be done in the music world.  Go get 'em, Queen!

Queen Bey in concert!
By Cornel Pex from La Senia, Spain (File:Beyonce 2.jpg) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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