Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Beyonce Wars (Women, Sex Appeal, and Beauty)

Aside from the fight on the gridiron Sunday night at the Super Bowl, another war was being fought according to many...a war on women. Twitter was afire with the #notbuyingit as people were protesting the objectification of women in the ads. Go Daddy seemed to be the most opposed ad, with the passionate kiss between supermodel Bar Refaeli and computer nerd-guy (perpetuating 2 stereotypes). However, the beer commercials that relied on women being beer delivery systems (you know, bringing beer to the men) and being panned across various body parts and the car ads that relied on the whole "chicks dig men with cool cars" theme, it was true. Women were largely objectified.

This video explains a bit more and is well worth the 9 minutes it takes to watch, especially if you are a woman, have a daughter, have a sister, have a mother, or have ever loved a woman. In other words...everyone.

Then enter...


Aside from the fact that she apparently had a couple of wardrobe malfunctions too, Beyonce polarized the Christian community. Apparently there was a tweeting war between the "Beyonce is trashy" and "You are threatened by beautiful women" camp. Honestly, I was crocheting, eating, and talking with people throughout the Super Bowl and not paying a bit of attention to Twitter. However, this @ElizabethEsther popped up on my radar the next day and it was entertaining and a bit perplexing to read the "conversation" throughout her Twitter feed. Well, as much as you can have a conversation with people throwing out soundbites in 140 characters or less with no real discussion going on. See for yourself below. (Disclaimer: I had never heard of Elizabeth Esther before this nor do I follow her blog. You can find her and decide for yourself what to think, if you are so inclined.)

So, my thoughts on the Beyonce hoopla?

They're kind of all over the place.
  1.  I think Beyonce is gorgeous and I like the message about body image she conveys, in that she is not anorexic-looking. She has a beautiful curvy figure and she embraces it.
  2. I think she could have worn more clothes for her Super Bowl performance.
  3. I appreciated the fact that she didn't lip-sync.
  4. Beyonce is multi-talented as a singer, dancer, and performer.
  5. Many (most?) of her dance moves were overtly sexual. And I'm not the pastor's wife from Footloose. I love to dance. I just question sexual pelvic thrusts and the repeated opening and closing of one's legs in a suggestive way while wearing dominatrix-type clothes.
  6. Her songs are catchy.
  7. The chorus to All the Single Ladies isIf you liked it then you should have put a ring on it. If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it. Don't be mad once you see that he want it, if you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it. What is IT? Is it sex? Or even worse...is it referring to herself, as a woman? As this song got stuck in my head and I found myself humming it, I realized that it is really objectifying.
And for the record, I am not the least bit threatened by Beyonce or her beauty. I am just a bit saddened that she's banking on her body as much or more so than her talent...or at least that seems like what she is advertising,

I'm on a bit of a feminist rant in my personal life, so this likely isn't the end of my pontificating. What say you?


  1. Thank you! I saw EE's posts, too and was really perplexed. I didn't get why she and others could be so outraged at the ads; and yet not at the same time admit that at least in some ways, people like Beyonce sell women out, too. Yes, it's a little different in that she's the one making most of the money off of the objectification vs. advertisers/corporations. But still! (p.s. I do like that she looks like a woman and not all emaciated.)

  2. p.s. I'd never heard the term, "hegemony" before and looked it up. Am I right that the term basically implies that unless men start standing up against this with us that nothing will ever change? Or am I off base?

  3. Totally agree with all these. Unfortunately, I have met men who have had all of these traits. I am by nature a pleaser and love giving to my partner, but have learned to back off a bit and reserve that for the man who is deserving and not selfish. When a man is really into pleasing me, it makes me want to please him even more, and it's a win-win for everyone!
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