Beyonce Knowles is among the most famous African American artists of the 21st century. Her performances are iconic, and her albums have earned numerous awards. In 2001, Beyonce made her first Grammy stage debut with the “Destiny’s Child” at the 43rd Grammys. She is the most-nominated female artist in the history of Grammy with a whooping 62 career nominations (Recording Academy Grammy Awards 2020). Beyonce has grown from being a media product to a popular black feminist of the present day. Some scholars acknowledge the effect and importance of Beyonce’s feminism. She has been connected to the idea of sexuality, and many people regard Beyonce as one of the few African American female artists who directly talk about sexuality in her songs and live performances. Most of Beyonce’s performances and music initiate a dialogue on Black heritage, which triggers Black Americans to examine Black Power and civil rights. For all the women taking part in Western music, Beyonce is recognized as a reckoning force that has developed a platform of creating a sense of self-empowerment among African Americans by voicing their dissatisfactions.
For a long time, Beyonce has been regarded as the link between post-feminism, black femininity, and the black female body. According to Bennett (2014), the concept of femininity is associated with female sexuality. In her music video “Baby Boy,” Beyonce explores femininity and race, which are the key issues affecting the contemporary Black community. In her song “Hold Up,” she addresses the hegemonic slavery images of southern urban dilapidation and the Antebellum South, indicating the complexity of black heritage, culture, and life in general. While “Hold Up” did not earn her a Grammy for Best Pop Solo performance, she won a Grammy for the Best music video for “formation.”
In “Jackson Five,” Beyonce claims that while the iconic Michael Jackson was rejected with plastic surgery, she resonates with African attributes as pleasing rather than hereditary shame. While she accepts the influence of her Louisiana Creole heritage, she proudly claims the Texas negro heritage hence subduing the conventional notions of European complexion as the standard (Dunbar, 2020). This complex Black American and heterogenous identity make Beyonce the enviably sexy woman the world perceives simply as B.
In Beyonce’s masterpiece “Lemonade,” she embraces her desirability of rd. African American femaleness. In the song of the song, Beyonce empowers the audience by dancing in a drained pool in black women, disclosing grey leotards, and wearing natural hair. The scene portrays Beyonce around other black women whose dance movement shares the message, “This is who I am, this is who motivates me, this is the person I identify with.” Contrary to Beyonce’s perception in the video, people worldwide regard women of color embrace their ability and physicality to arouse the internet platforms. This implies that the rhetorical and visual demonstration of black femaleness is empowering women throughout the world and is sexually desirable by many globally.
In her acceptance speech for garnering the Best Urban Contemporary Album, Beyonce explained the goal behind the composition of “Lemonade.” She notes that her intention for creating the album was to build a series of work that would voice the struggles, pain, history, and darkness we go through in our daily lives. she adds that it was a body of work fit for confronting challenges that make us uncomfortable. Beyonce argues that through her songs, she wants to create images for her children that will reflect their beauty to understand the world where they live. The children must look through the mirror first via their families, the news, the Super Bowl, the Grammy, the Olympics, and the White House and see themselves as great people. “My children should not doubt that they are capable, intelligent, and beautiful.” Beyonce says that this is something she wants for children of all races, and she feels it is crucial to learn from past mistakes and come up with sound resolutions (npr music 2020).
We can see that Beyonce is beyond an ordinary artist but a feminist who reiterates her purpose to reflect images that display beauty for future generations of the world (Weidhase, 2015). However, for anyone to understand black female sexual empowerment, one must learn about an array of black facial elements and skin tones portrayed in her videos and performances. Visually and lyrically, “Lemonade” addresses the contemporary issues affecting the black femaleness that women in various cultures accept. For instance, British Adele, Beyonce’s great fan and the winner of the year’s album, acknowledged that Beyonce deserved the trophy due to the influence, inspiration, and empowerment she gives to women worldwide. Adele, a self-proclaimed Beyonce fan, described her as light and that the way Beyonce makes her black friends feel is empowering. Beyonce makes black women in the world stand-up for themselves.
In conclusion, Beyonce is among the greatest female artists whose intentions are creating self-awareness of African American invisibility across the American culture. Through her songs and videos, she subverts stereotypical images of black women as powerless to tackle the interest of man, the media, and society. She also dismisses the concept that black women are undesirable. In other terms, Beyonce delivers a black female-centric message of sexual empowerment and aesthetic beauty. Therefore, a win for Beyonce is a win for all women of the world. As a female artist in the Western world, Beyonce is warm-hearted yet capable of making women of the world feel worth as people who have substance to look at and hold on to.
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