Those who know me, know I absolutely love Beyonce. There are many reasons why: from her rocking her thick thighs (something I hated about myself for years), to how hard-working she is, and now adding to the list -her Super Bowl performance.
The day before the Super Bowl, Beyonce dropped her latest single, “Formation,” to which received immense praise over the Twitterverse and Facebook. In the video she tackles many downfalls of the Black community from police brutality to Hurricane Katrina. She has this new anthem of celebrating her blackness, and while I’m not black, I can still celebrate with the fact that in today’s world she is allowed to cheer for her heritage.
There are plenty of oppressions to still overcome, but I’m so happy that I live in an age where I can see “the next Black Bill Gates,” sing about her husband’s “Jackson Five nose.” Her own daughter, Blue Ivy, was featured in the music video rocking her afro -in a protest against those criticizing Bey for not straightening her hair. I was ecstatic to know she had the platform that was the Super Bowl (one of the most watched televised events in the United States).
You Shouldn’t Be Offended By the Clothes
With every great thing to hit the internet, there is a flood of negativity to splash on through too. The most frustrating part was the comments on what her and her dancers wore.
Let’s start with the comments on her modesty. Bey was dressed in a black leotard, a leather jacket (zipped up, so no cleavage), black boots, and fishnet tights. She was just as modestly dressed as a ballerina would be -probably even more covered up. A leotard is a standard dance item because it is made of stretchy material and it doesn’t constrict.
The woman is made of curves, so it’s natural that her butt sticks out of the bottom just a bit -just as it does with gymnasts. Let’s just say, if she was wearing that leotard as a bathing suit, no one would bat an eyelash because then she would be wearing a once piece -which is considered modest.
Is it her dance moves that makes her outfit seem inappropriate? So Beyonce has a hip-hop song about loving her blackness, and hip hop originated from black people, so what other dance moves would she do? Dance movements that involve your butt and your hips are native dances to African countries, Latin countries, and Caribbean countries. Even the indigenous people of Australia have those movements in their ceremonies.
Now on to her dancers… People didn’t quite appreciate them dressed as Black Panthers. A group that was created to fight for the rights and equalities of blacks. The clothes totally make sense if you watched her music video or listened to her single. Someone on Fox News went as far as to compare their outfits to those of the KKK. Here’s why that doesn’t work. The KKK was created to maintain white supremacy. The Black Panthers were created to monitor police brutality in Oakland, California.
Can we just appreciate the fact that her dancers were rocking their natural hair? I was dying over all of those beautiful afros bouncing around in their glory while they were rocking every last move. The best part to me though? People were so offended, that they didn’t even realize Beyonce was dressed as Michael Jackson was during his Super Bowl performance.
While You Can’t Directly Relate, You Can Appreciate
As I mentioned before, I’m not black, so I don’t fully understand the struggles she was highlighting. What I can understand is love for others and the equality we all deserve. I can understand that this world we live in, isn’t perfect and that in 2016 racism is still an issue.
A lot of people say, “well I didn’t personally do that so why should I feel guilty?” It’s not about whether you personally did it or not, it’s about the higher platform you have that you can use to make a difference. It’s in the way you can raise your kids, the way you treat others, and the way you listen -the most important thing you can do. The “Black Lives Matter” moment isn’t here to say that other lives don’t matter, it’s to say that they have to fight a little harder to prove theirs matters just as much as yours or mine. The same way feminists fight to make all the lives of women matter equally. There are so many groups I could use examples for this.
If you feel guilty, it’s natural. Instead of thinking the world is against you, think about what you can do to ensure future generations don’t have this guilt. Think about what you’re saying, because sometimes you don’t realize what’s coming out of your mouth until someone calls it out. I’m not sitting here telling you to go find your “designated black friend,” I’m telling you to not think twice about someone because of their skin tone.
Don’t allow yourself to be stuck in your own little bubble. Accept what the world is and take the chance to change it. Instead of being offended by Beyonce, listen to the discussion she’s trying to have.
**Watch the Music Video Here. Warning, some NSFW language.**
Author’s Note: I do not own any rights to the images featured. All were found through social media. I am not the rightful owner.