Beyoncé dropped her critically acclaimed, sixth studio album this week, and unsurprisingly the media-sphere went nuts. The visual album portrayed the emotions she felt on topics that resonated with her - love, cheating, betrayal, black pride and racism. And as she said so in Formation, she definitely slayed.
Writing for the MailOnline, Piers Morgan decided to share his view declaring how he preferred the "old Beyoncé", the "less inflammatory, agitating one" - the one who only sang about love and relationships, as well as dropping a dance hit every now and then. Not the "militant activist we see now" because previously "she was at pains to be seen as an entertainer and musician and not as a black woman who sings".
Piers seems to be implying she was a safer, more culturally neutral version back then and deems her black activist movement she now proclaims in her music is a ploy to sell records.
What Piers fails to understand is that having a platform as high as hers, means also having a powerful social influence with her level of fame and artistry. And every right she should have to stand as a 'black woman who sings' because that is exactly what she is.
It's honestly the same thing as if I was complaining a musician singing a song about prostate cancer as it being a unnecessary way to sell their record, even though it personally relates to the artist and people they know - what right do I have to complain about a real issue that I don't get because it doesn't relate to or affect me?
Anyways, Piers Don't Hurt Yourself with your irrelevancy of your contribution to the discussion of the movement. As Beyoncé fittingly puts it, "when you diss me, you diss yourself, don't hurt yourself"
There seems to be a misunderstood concept by many I've seen on social media that Beyoncé celebrating her Louisiana Creole roots and proudly declaring her heritage and culture, as well as touching on real issues that affect the black community is threatening to others who aren't of the same race. As one commenter on the Daily Mail (in response to an article about her latest album) said "Being white and having purchased her concert tickets I can't help but feel a little weird now going to her show. I almost feel not welcomed there".
Not once did Beyoncé say "black people are better than white people, don't come to my concert because you're not welcome."
As a black woman, I fail to understand where these ignorant comments are stemming from. I can only really question why do some white people suddenly feel threatened when something isn't geared primarily towards them as if they are a default audience. Newsflash - you aren't. There's a whole world of different ethnicities out there and yours isn't the main one everyone has to accommodate for because you've grown up accustomed to that.
And they're probably the ones who overlook how much privilege they have and how much black women have to acclimatise to white standards. For example on a basic, general scale - beauty. How many times have you read a magazine and seen hair and beauty trends that black women can do? How many times have you seen a full equal sized range of make up products that black women can also purchase? How many times have you seen Eurocentric beauty standards portrayed as the one that is more preferred? I mean, not even half of advertising geared towards us in the media doesn't even represent us as we naturally are if it comes to not presenting us with our natural hair texture or whitewashing our skin in advertising.
There is nothing wrong with standing in defence and in pride of your race, which is the main thing Beyoncé does with her album. And as for it being dismissed as she is doing it for 'commercial reasons', Beyoncé has every right to use her platform to provide a voice to those who aren't heard. And do it the best way she can and feels the most expressive - which is through her voice, creativity and artistry. It gets on my nerves that every time a black woman stands for something that relates personally to her as a 'black woman' it gets dismissed as unnecessary and that they're causing a fuss over nothing. Just because you don't personally relate to it, doesn't mean it's not important.
To be honest, if this was an artist who had come out as gay and had released an album that had many songs about their journey (as well as others) about homosexuality and gay rights, they would be praised. Why? Because that is what they identify with and stand for with pride, so why is the same praise not granted to Beyoncé? Why is standing in pride in your own identity and for the people in your community suddenly a controversy?
Anyways, Beyoncé, keep doing us black women proud. As you say in Freedom, "Imma keep running cos a winner doesn't quit on themselves".