After listening and critiquing Beyonce’s new ‘Influential’ song Formation, I have become very conflicted with how I view Beyonce as a role model for certain groups, more specifically Black women. The problems I have with her are not at all linked to Beyonce as a person but rather her intentions and her conflicting messages, that stem from the song and one specific action carried out by Beyonce. However, I will admit that I don’t dislike the song completely, as I do acknowledge some of the controversial and inciteful issues Queen B raises, but this will be ultimately undermined when I bring forth my problems with her other lines.
Firstly, disrespecting the cop car in the music video; I thought it was 100% dope. The symbolism behind that was amazing.How I interpret this? It basically said what most blacks in America have said at least once some point in their life, “Fuck the police” – As I said before, theses are examples of some brilliant but implicit messages Beyonce perpetuates throughout the music video, ones which challenge vexed issues surrounding the Black community, such as the racial bias within the police force against the black community.
Also, the Black Panther Party references were great to witness. How often do we get to see that? An adored and world famous celebrity advertising the Black Panther Party. Not to mention at America’s biggest event of the year, the Superbowl! Obviously, something for the Black community to latch on to and use for empowerment. And not too many people were “woke” enough to notice the Moorish man with the Fez on. To summarise the meaning behind this (or rather how I interpret this), it is referring to a time in history in which Black people ,or to be politically correct “Moors”, were in high positions of power, the Moorish were advanced in mathematics, astronomy, art, and agriculture helped propel Europe out of the Dark Ages and into the Renaissance. As early as the Middle Ages, “Moors were commonly viewed as being mostly black or very swarthy, and hence, the word is often used for the negro,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary. But now realising the underlying messages from this, we can see how some these messages enables the black community to feel liberated and powerful and yet also acknowledge the deep history connected to black people too, not the just enslavement of blacks.
The afro line when referring to Blue Ivy was adorable and noble. I really did appreciate that. After all the hate they threw her way about that baby’s hair, it was beautiful to witness the clap back.
“I did not come to play with you hoes; I came to slay, bitch”
Now this where things head south. You turned something that was beautiful and uplifting into utter ignorance. Who wrote that line? Nicki Minaj? That’s horrible language to use in a video that’s supposed to send a message to young women, using a derogative term used against women in your song -without any indication of debunking or undermining the word- makes one look like a hypocrite when you’ve been deemed worthy of being a role model for young women, I find it incredibly insulting and distasteful. Is that how we want our young girls speaking? With that sort of vernacular? Congratulations Mrs Knowles-Carter, you’ve just diluted the power of the message.
“I’m so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress”
Yes, you are indeed reckless. because you lack control? The black community is the biggest advocates for designer gear and it is plaguing their minds and bank accounts. Consumerism is ruining the black community! Money pours out of their community into the same hands that fund the police that brutalises the community, very similar to the problem within the black lives matter movement. Beyonce, you are indirectly feeding this so-called white supremacy; the irony here is clear as well as this false pretence of you being “woke”. Couldn’t you think of one black designer to mention? Kanye West!? A black male who has his own clothing line. Why wasn’t he plugged into all of this, he is the ideal figure or example that could have been used in for this message. To lay it all out, Beyonce is endorsing a brand designed for the black community but ironically it is white people who benefit from all of this – very conflicting when you mention moors and the black panther party all in the same song Bey.
“I got hot sauce in my bag”
Is that supposed to be uplifting, revolutionary and empowering? I’m beginning to think you want to destroy the black community, Bey. I’m not going to get into how stereotypical that is but most of the hot sauce brands on the market (due to high levels of MSG/salt) are the reason why black folks are dying from high blood pressure. Moreover, black women have higher blood pressure than black men, white men and women. And black women are your target demographic. Advertising stereotypes about blacks which are detrimental to them are very sick, markets like this are undeniably targetted towards to the black community leading to poor health as well as the overarching problem of lack health care for blacks in America too. Again Beyonce, not impressive.
“When he f*ck me good I take his ass to Red Lobster”
Now to round out my issues with the Red Lobster line, Red Lobster sells farm-raised seafood. Which means the food didn’t come from the sea, it came from a farm. The ex-parent company, Darden admits this in an article where they state, “Instead of producing the big-clawed Maine-style lobsters everyone knows and loves, though, Darden Aquafarm will raise spiny, or rock lobsters, which are smaller”. So, basically, give the blacks the little GMO crabs we grew in a lab. Go do your research on farm-raised seafood. It’s diseased infested. Why is she promoting this to her community? They can go get their cheddar biscuits, if they must, and go some place where they sell real SEAfood. And what happened to the whole vegan thing you were working on Beyonce? Did you give up on pushing that? Reb Lobster received a 33% increase in sales following the Beyonce endorsement.
Striving away from the actual lyrics and the music video, Beyonce has confirmed a world tour for her formation performances. Seems like a great opportunity for Beyonce to spread her “woke” message about women and blacks, only that her messages somewhat contradict themselves and, in fact, convey conflicting messages. One of the countries Beyonce has decided to go to is Israel, the victim of their war with Palestine (I hope you’re “woke” enough to catch the sarcasm), which I find to be quite amusing. Israel in the last few years and even currently has been known for sterilising Ethiopian Jewish females against their will, so we can see the country loves black women. Not to forget the fact Israel has caged and deserted many North African refugees in the desert to die, so we can also see that Israel loves black people too. Yet Beyonce is up for grabbing more money to perform in an obviously extreme racist and sexist country, I wonder what the crowd will be like.
My following may of been already revealed, but i will make it clear anyway. Beyonce is using movements and events like this to push her product but she has made it so people fail to see the flaws in her product, very smart Bey. At the end of the day, this is a business but people fail to see this, as they’ve deemed Beyonce as someone who is “woke”, in fact, does not deserve to be when I evaluate this her lyrics and her actions. This is a problem I have with most celebrities who have the majority of positive fans. It blinds most of their audience from seeing their true intentions and messages. I like to call it having a ‘celebrity wall’. Case and point: Chris Brown is loved by many due to his talented singing and dancing, but we forget this is someone who domestically abused Rihanna before, yet we don’t let that hinder our perception of him due to his fame brought by his music. Same can be applied with Beyonce, the love she gets from fans is enormous! Fair enough she attempts to use it as a platform of highlighting vexed issues, but ultimately fails at this – I feel as if she is doing this more so for business rather than becoming the ideal role model, for blacks and women. So overall, i am very disappointed with your actions Queen B and I am not at all impressed with your new movement.