Beyonce is Not a Role Model!! : ThyBlackMan.com

Friday, October 31, 2014


Beyonce is Not a Role Model!!

April 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Ent., Music, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

(ThyBlackMan.com) Dear Michelle Obama,

I’m addressing this to you because I admire you. Because you’re smart and a mum to two young girls. And you’re the First Lady of the USA. And because you were recently quoted as saying that Beyonce is a great ‘role model’ to your two daughters, and because you recently tweeted, after the Superbowl, that you were ‘so proud’ of her. I’m writing because everything you do is admired and emulated by so many; but when you endorse a recording artist like Beyonce, I see the most misogynistic aspects of the music industry (that prefers girls to be no more complex than dolls) interpret your comments as a seal of approval for the thoughtless cultural currency that they flood the youth market with. I’m writing because I think it’s time to stop suggesting to very young girls that ultimate feminine success – in the music industry or anywhere else – comes with the need, or the expectation for them to undress.

When Beyonce kicked off her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour two nights ago, wearing her sheer bodysuit with nipples showing, to me she performed the final degradation of her talent; a retrogressive transformation that has taken someone stellar and otherworldly, and made them into something dreadfully familiar and sad.

Variations of Beyonce’s body suit can be found in brothels, strip clubs, and red light districts across the world – where sex is for sale and it happens to be dispensed through a woman’s body. That she is a human being with feelingsBeyonceNotaRoleModel and dreams, perhaps a sister, a mother, a leader, a teacher, a student – ALWAYS – a daughter – all of this can be forgotten. In those surroundings a suit like Beyonce’s would look far from glamorous. Maybe just downright heartbreaking as a woman somewhere becomes an object, available for the gratification of a desire – at a price dictated by her ‘managers’.

Next time you’re presented with a shortlist of people in popular culture who you should spend time with or commend, think about how many young girls want to be just like Beyonce: Beyonce who sings ‘Bow Down Bitch’ and wears sheer bodysuits and high heels, singing about making money and being independent.

Remember that in the USA, the average age of a girl when she is trafficked for sex for the first time is 13.

Remember that she’s often brought into the ‘life’ by drug dealers who promise her a celebrity lifestyle, clothes like the ones Beyonce wears, and situations where she can live like Queen Bey: looking hot, being desired by alpha males, wielding power over others with her body and sexuality.

Understand that in an obscene act of manipulation by the young men who will pimp them, for a very short amount of time – maybe only for a half an hour in one of their early encounters – young girls who are trafficked do actually get to taste the experience that they have identified as ultimate feminine success: they get given hot pants or body suits like the one Beyonce’s dancing in, they dance for men who find them alluring, and for a very short time, these very young girls are convinced that they’ve made it – only to be assaulted, abused, and sometimes murdered in the years ahead, by the men who they thought wanted them.

Beyonce, performing in sheer body suits, nipples displayed, mouth open, high heels and sheer tights, shaking her butt on stage, can no longer be held by world leaders as an icon of female success.

Because for as long as she is, we are feeding a demonic myth that women must make themselves sexually available to enjoy ultimate success. And it is demonic because the impact this myth has on those most vulnerable young girls who fall pray to, is unimaginably horrible.

It can take years of a young girl’s life away from her when she tries to escape a life of abuse at home by believing promises of money and glamor, sexual allure and power – a life just like the most successful women in the world; only to be sold for sex, beaten, and made addicted to drugs. It can take a chance of an educated, secure future away from her; and sometimes, if she can’t find an exit – it can take her very life away from her.

Beyonce is a singer and a songwriter. She doesn’t need to wear see through clothes or body suits to sing. We know that because we’ve seen her singing accapella in a hospital in a pair of jeans and a T-shirt and – and she sounded like a celestial being from a different dimension.

She doesn’t have to do this. She’s choosing to. And she’s not the first or only one woman to do it. And like the many women who have played this game the way they have, her reasons may be economic, artistic, personal or even misunderstood. But whatever her reasons, her influence cannot be underestimated or misunderstood.

It’s time that young girls were sent a different message. A more refined, intelligent message. A message that engaged them at the level of their intellect and potential because implicit in our message to them should be the acknowledgement that they are naturally brilliant and that we believe that they are capable of everything – without ever having to undress to achieve their success.

The work here is to re etch the self image and self worth of young girls who think that sexualizing themselves is necessary to be powerful or successful.

So please, let it be known that Beyonce is not a role model.
She may have a lot of money, and she may have enormous influence.
But she can no longer be called a role model.

(Unless you think it would be really cool for Sasha or Malia to follow her example and sing songs for people on a stage whilst wearing sheer gold glitter bodysuits detailing the contours of their body, under the management of their daddy and/or their husband).

Instead, call out those who deliberately allow their sexual identity to eclipse the genius of their spirit and sacredness of their soul. Tell young girls that they are more than that. Engage with artists who sing, dance, write, design, perform – but whose presentation centers on showcasing the brilliance of their brain, not their body.

If I had daughters I’d tell them to pass on the Beyonce show because when you’re wearing a sheer see through body suit with nipples on display, no matter how much gold thread in it – I don’t see any light coming out of it. I just see a glowing ball of soullessness.

I’d say to my girls: all that’s gold doesn’t glitter. Let’s find something genuinely luminous…and take them to a Lorna Simpson exhibition, or a C.C White concert, or hand them a Zadie Smith book.

Written By Rakhi Kumar

Official website; http://www.twitter.com/TheMGGtSpirit

 


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Comments

13 Responses to “Beyonce is Not a Role Model!!”
  1. Rebecca J says:

    Agree with most of what this author says except the parts about Bey sounding so great. It has become clearer and clearer over the years that she leans on the physical because she actually has vocal problems (ref: the audio Howard Stern revealed years back from the Today Show board feed–which Bey’s handlers later tried to claim was altered– or the lip syncing at the inauguration). Any video of Bey “singing” is likely also altered. If she was really such a phenomenal singer she wouldn’t feel the need to over sexualize the way she does. So the idea that she doesn’t have to take this approach doesn’t hold as much weight imho. Other than that this article is on point. Michelle O. shouldn’t be holding her up as if she’s good for young people.

  2. lady L says:

    I agree with ThyBlackMan.com..she is not a good role model for young girl or self respecting young women..She never wears clothes, it`s almost like she has something aganist them. Young women look at women like her and want to be like her, they want to dress like her (but she don`t wear clothes) so to me this is a problem. Her concerns is not for these young girls she is all about making money. I don`t think the President of the U S would let his girls wear this cramp, and for the first Lady to promote it is down right shamefull…This world seem to be going to hell in the raw..

  3. Marcus Vessey says:

    Eric, it is ludicrous to say that holding up an entertainer as a role model is a flawed proposition. Unless that is you actually meant to say “we are flawed for holding up entertainers as role models”. The reality is that they are and therefore that gives us a position by which to critique their behavior based upon what we see are positive community standards. That is simply the way the real world works as you know. It is not about being perfect, it is about the impact on image and culture that one on such as high stage as Beyonce has.

    But I think more importantly we need to look at the absence of criticism as someone mention below by both our well known public leaders as well as our President who is a notable chum of the Carter fam. To me this implies implicit acceptance of that behavior and that is as damaging if not more so than the behavior itself.

    A community without standards is a deformed and distorted community.

  4. Eric says:

    sorry but its an extreme stretch to link beyonce to underage sex trafficking because of her stage costumes. that’s just as exploitative as what the author is arguing against. the whole role model question is a false dichotomy and really implies a certain level of idealism which has never actually been part of reality. look at male role models, from thomas jefferson to babe ruth to bill clinton: all inherently flawed. upholding an entertainer as a role model is also an inherently flawed proposition. We can commend Rihanna for her Isis tattoo at the same time we decry her overtly sexual imagery. We can put her and Beyonce in the same boat of selling sex appeal, but the fact is there’s a market for that which is operated mainly by old white Jewish men. so if we’re going to criticize anyone, they should be first in line.

  5. 0-o says:

    There is something about the tone of the article that feeds into our general misogynistic/sexist culture of who is deemed worthy of respect. A woman in a nun habit is just as likely to raped,sexually assaulted because of the culture. Choosing not to respect a woman because of what she “wears” is extremely problematic & it makes rape ok because “they were asking for it”. Not a huge Bey fan but I do think this “shaming” method is not only dramatic & stupid but also dangerous. The black female body along with other women of color is oversexualized period and has been since slavery, doesn’t matter what we are wearing. I do believe that a woman should be in control of her body and it says more about the ignorance and sickness of our culture when we choose to respect/disrespect based on assumptions & outwardly appearance

  6. Truitist says:

    I think this is spot on. The FLOTUS thinks Beyawnce is a role model. The point this article makes is that she is NOT!

    Bey is a manufactured commercialized illumanati puppet. Thats why she had to get rid of her dad as her manager. He wouldve never approved of this attire.

    Jay wouldntve approved of her dad managing her. Jay is renting space in Beyonces head and its showing with her latest trash Bow Down B******

  7. j says:

    Couldn’t you say this about almost every r’n’b female singer since the disco era?

  8. maryam alsay says:

    I think thats sad that you feel that way. So what she makes her money doing what everyone else has done, Yes she says BOW DOWN and your point? She like many women are making their marks and yes I’m just as proud. Keep making that money Girl!!!!!!

  9. Staff says:

    Photoshop? No that’s one of her costumes sister… You can find pics of Beyonce in attire more revealing then that…

  10. Angye says:

    I think that picture is photoshopped. I doubt the Obama girls would be allowed to attend a Beyonce show. They are not even old enough. A lot of those shows are age restricted. I am not a Beyonce fan at all but I think this is much ado about nothing.

  11. Realman says:

    This goes to show you that far too much of black culture has an obsession with whoredom. Beyonce, Rihana, Nikki and so many more entertainers promote a hyper-sexual mentality while so-called black leaders say and do nothing as STD rates and the number of unweb mothers in our communites only increases. Even the President put in foot in his mouth by calling Beyonce a role model for his kids.

  12. Jennifer Proffitt says:

    Thank you for this article/letter. I feel the same way. I teach high school and I am always telling the girls to put more clothes on and to respect their bodies because if they don’t, no one else will.

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