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An article on hiphollywood.com discusses Beyonce’s release of the fifth installment of her “Self-Titled” mini-series. The mini-series is meant to give fans a behind the scenes look at how her album came together, and the latest installment focuses on the sexuality portrayed in some of her music.
In this installment, Beyonce claims that she has always been careful about how she displays her sexuality due to the fact that she respects the children and parents who choose to listen to her music. Somehow, the words sexuality and respect when children are involved does not seem capable of coexisting, but Beyonce believes she has managed to make the two converge with the way she has chosen to display sexuality in her music. Part of her justification in the series seems to be that her first album came out when she was 15, and she believes that the children who listened to her music then have now grown up.
While this may seem like a valid justification, it does nothing to address the fact that there are new fans who are preteens and young teenagers who are being exposed to the adult sexuality that is pervasive in some of her music. Beyonce’s response to this is that she feels that she has earned the right to freely express everything about who she is. While she makes a valid point, I do not believe this gives her any right to say that her music is respectful of children and their parents.
Pharrell seems to support Beyonce’s view in the mini-series by making a statement about the fact that it is Beyonce’s strength as a mother and wife that allows Beyonce to free women through her sexual lyrics.
I personally think that overt sexually only serves to perpetuate the stereotype that Black women are oversexualized, submissive, and incompetent of being anything other than sexual objects, but I must admit I have never been a fan of Beyonce’s music. I believe there are much more talented women with much more empowering messages, but we will leave this to her fans to decide if her music is truly sexually liberating for women or simply a perpetuation of age old stereotypes about black women.