‘Tis the season for summer concerts and what better way to kick it off than one related to a charity that empowers women, which was held in London earlier this week. The Chime for Change headliner was pretty much a no-brainer, considering Mrs. Carter is a co-founder (along with Salma Hayek Pinault and Gucci’s Frida Giannini) of the organization that raises funds for charities supporting “education, health and justice” projects for females in over 70 countries. King Bey set the stage on fire–but didn’t cause a blackout, this time–performing “Girls (Run the world)” and “Grown Women” songs.
Despite over $4 million raised for the charity and a first time ever duet from Mary J. Blige and Jennifer Lopez, what was most buzzed about on Twitter was how inappropriate Beyonce was as a role model because …of her hidden pregnancy…nope….lip syncing during a live performance…not it. Her wardrobe!?!
Beyoncé is singing At Last in leather knickers while quotes from Rosa Parks and Princess Diana blare on the screen behind her #empowerment — Bertie Fox (@BertieFox) June 1, 2013
I am all about female empowerment in every form. I am. But why does it have to be celebrated in spike heels & knickers every time? #beyonce — Ruth Ibegbuna (@MsIbegbuna) June 1, 2013
Okay, do I consider Beyonce a modern day Gloria Steinem? ummm, no. Can’t envision Mrs. Carter burning a bra, however sashaying around the stage with one, yes absolutely, in fact. But, how does that make her voice any more or less significant for addressing young girls global issues, considering millions of tweens, teens, 20 somethings and even the First Lady of the United States continue to “bow down” to the singer no matter what she’s got her perfectly toned body wrapped in.
I’m not so naive to describe Mrs. Carter as a feminist because that would be a major reach and while there have been whispers from her camp and others she may be traveling down that route as of late, I’ve yet to notice the breadcrumbs. But, I find it hard to believe that conquering the stage in a small leotard automatically disqualifies you as a role model for young women. It raises the question, why can’t a woman own her sexuality while still maintaining her intellect and focus?
I believe all women, just like men, do their jobs with a uniform on. It may not be as evident as a cop, firefighter or mailman but it’s appropriate for what they do. Adele, Janelle Monae rock a uniform that doesn’t include sexy skirts and cleavage, but they own it all the same. It’s their identity. Beyonce took the traditional route of sex appeal and putting that on doesn’t make her any more or less an inspiration for others, her uniform just happens to be a leotard.