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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Beyonce: Deconstructing The Myth

Queen B, King Bey, Sasha Fierce, Beyonce- all are stage names, titles of a multi-million dollar brand. Showbiz. It is what it is, for your entertainment. Whenever fans and onlookers expect more from entertainment than entertainment is capable of, bad things result. Also, whenever entertainers like Beyonce venture into areas outside of their expertise: like acting, politics and self-help movements, results are often mixed or even dreadful. So the simmering anti-Beyonce movement brewing under the heels of The "Bow-Down" Pop Princess is partly her own fault and partly a result of unrealistic expectations on the part of her fans.

People do not really hate Beyonce. No one knows her outside of her own personal friends and family, that's a fact. Beyonce detractors hate what Beyonce and her fans stand for: glorified female hypocrisy.

Her love life is relatively private yet she dances like a burlesque dancer that looks like she's a she-devil in the sack and can ride a wild bull for hours. She speaks of female empowerment, women "sticking together" to "run the world" and "independence". Yet she is the product of two successful parents, her father managed her to international fame and she went from her father's arms to her husband's wings. Unlike the many single mothers, unwed females, daughters without father figures and economically challenged fans that worship her as if she's "one of them." Beyonce went from the cradle to another cradle.

From a marketing standpoint, Beyonce has been positioned as the "drug dealer's girlfriend" to inner city black women, "the modern Tina Turner (minus Ike episode)" to white women, "the world's best burlesque dancer" to husbands and boyfriends, "the business mogul with pole skills" to business women with risque tendencies and overall, each image lures sub-sets of fans into their own Beyonce Experience. Genius marketing, period. That's entertainment at it's best in my opinion.

Yet a dose of "humble pie" is in order at times with all stars. Intelligence can be measured in many ways and it's clear, Beyonce should speak sparingly. Her reasoning is childlike at best, it's clear she's been trained to perform NOT think and speak. She was smart enough to put smarter people in charge of Beyonce, Inc. When she deviates what you see is that awful mockumentary/promo, that idiotic song "Bow Down" and fake singing for the President! Listen, when you step outside of the protective walls of ENTERTAINMENT, you can't stand next to the first black First Lady, co-sign her health initiative and then put your face and star power behind Pepsi (which is liquid crack for black people in the ghetto, by the way). Outside of entertainment, you can't make public statements about female empowerment in hopes of harnessing a feminist movement and then call women "bitches"- notice she's made no apology or explanation yet? Bad moves that only highlight one thing:

Beyonce is nothing more than a sheltered middle class girl that always wanted to be like the girls in the 'hood so she learned to dance like a stripper, sing like a baby Tina Turner and dress like a burlesque dancer to impress the Houston 'hood rats she never fit in with. As a result, the most hardcore segment of Beyonce fans are the same girls that were the drug dealer girlfriends, female hustlers and 'hood divas she fantasized becoming. The only difference between Beyonce and this segment of her fan base is that most drug dealer girlfriends are visiting cemeteries and prisons. Most strippers and burlesque dancers don't get endorsement deals. Most "single ladies" stay single. Most women never stick together because of jealousy.

This is real simple from my perspective. Beyonce pimped the dollars of women that will never be where she is, didn't have the same family structure she had, didn't get the successful drug-dealer-turned-business-mogul fantasy and got to dance like a stripper but still be called a lady. Most exotic dancers get called hos and a good day for them is a rainy one, not so for Queen B. In other words, she did what most rappers have done for decades, pretend to be a gangsta, pimp or player in the studio and sell the music to those really living the life but also experiencing the most negative outcomes. This gave her "street cred" with black women and white women bought it to follow the trend and become interesting to their white friends- like white boys got turned out by black rappers.  Same marketing model, same outcomes. That's game people. Misery loves a good song to listen to when riding around in the car or strutting around at the local nightclub fantasizing of one day being the myth.  

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