Long Live Queen B

Long Live Queen B

By: Terra Clarke Olsen

Let it be known that I love Beyoncé. She. Is. AMAZING. Seriously, even if you don’t like pop or R&B, you can’t deny the kick-ass nature that is Beyoncé, aka Queen B. She inspires and empowers women and girls all over the world. She is unapologetic about being a professional, a superstar, a wife, and a mom. Get it girl!  And just when I thought I couldn’t love her any more, Virginia introduced me to her new album, Beyoncé, and my respect and admiration increased tenfold.

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Beyoncé is a visual album, as a video accompanies each song. This album is raw, tackling issues that are heavy and important, such as feminism, depression, and insecurities, among other things. For example, “Flawless” gets straight to the point, with lyrics like:

I took some time to live my life
But don’t think I’m just his little wife
Don’t get it twisted, get it twisted

This my shit, bow down bitches

But the most powerful moment features Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie when she says the following:

We teach girls to shrink themselves
To make themselves smaller
We say to girls
“You can have ambition
But not too much
You should aim to be successful
But not too successful
Otherwise you will threaten the man”
Because I am female
I am expected to aspire to marriage
I am expected to make my life choices
Always keeping in mind that
Marriage is the most important
Now marriage can be a source of
Joy and love and mutual support
But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage
And we don’t teach boys the same?
We raise girls to each other as competitors
Not for jobs or for accomplishments
Which I think can 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: the person who believes in the social
Political, and economic equality of the sexes

Yes, yes, and more yes! Preach it! Yeah, I’ve had this song on repeat. (You can see the video here.)

“Pretty hurts” also has some powerful lyrics. I connect with this song deeply. The first time I heard it, I was just taking it in…and then I realized what she was saying. I listened to it again. And then I became teary eyed. This song speaks to my soul as I lived this song (I started modeling at 12 years old-I’ll write about that someday). What we’re doing to our girls in this nation is a travesty, and this song reflects that. Here is the start of the song:

Mama said, “You’re a pretty girl.
What’s in your head, it doesn’t matter
Brush your hair, fix your teeth.
What you wear is all that matters.”

Just another stage, pageant the pain away
This time I’m gonna take the crown
Without falling down, down, down

Pretty hurts, we shine the light on whatever’s worse
Perfection is a disease of a nation, pretty hurts, pretty hurts
Pretty hurts, we shine the light on whatever’s worse
You’re tryna fix something but you can’t fix what you can’t see
It’s the soul that needs the surgery

I know I’m not alone with my insecurities and struggles with ‘beauty,’ but hearing Queen B sing about it is healing in a way.

I could go on and on about all the songs, but really you should just go buy the album and discover it for yourself. In summary, I am just thankful that an artist like Beyoncé exists to give young girls and women alike a feminist role model in the pop culture world.

Long live the Queen!

terra@haveyounerd.com 
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