Feminism In Flawless

832 Words 4 Pages
A wife, a mother, a multi-millionaire, iconic pop star, and to many young women, a role model, and now a proclaimed feminist. Beyoncé has become the center of discussion when it comes to challenging what our ideas of what modern feminism is. In Flawless, Beyoncé tries to break down the more complex parts of feminism that others may not understand and otherwise view as contradictory. So, while others may suggest that Beyonce is not a feminist, in Flawless, I argue that Beyonce is in fact a great example of a modern feminist who through the use of lyrics and imagery in her song and music video, is stating that feminism is about empowering women to be successful, unlearning gender roles, and abolishing social expectations that are limiting to …show more content…
This excerpt is by multi-prize winning Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who is also a noted feminist. In the speech, Adichie describes how women are taught “to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. You can have ambition but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man.” Beyonce 's employment of this segment of the speech is relevant, in the music video, the choreography of Beyonce 's moves are wide and assertive, moves that would be typically regarded as masculine. Throughout the song, Beyonce 's boldness can be misconstrued as being haughty and even narcissistic. However, to understand the meaning of Beyoncé 's "aggressive" lyrics and visuals used in her music video requires understanding the way women have been taught to behave, accommodating and quick to acquiesce while men are taught and encouraged to be assertive, active, and allowed to take up space, even literally. One example of this comes from a now Oxford Dictionary recognized term called manspreading, which is a word to describe the phenomenon of men taking up a significant amount of space on crowded public transportation by sitting with their legs wide open as opposed to women who sit with their legs crossed, making sure not to occupy any more space than necessary. Another key Adichie line Beyonce uses is, “We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that …show more content…
The chorus of the song is essentially about building self-confidence. “I woke up like this, we flawless” is not implying that women must look effortlessly flawless but rather that women are already perfect the way they are. “Ladies, tell 'em Say I look so good tonight” further proves Beyonce 's intention. Although Beyonce is a star known for her beauty, Beyonce is trying to set up an example of how women should feel about themselves, that they should already know and themselves believe that they already look good without asking another person for validation and approval of their appearance. Beyonce in this verse also gives us another attribute that flawlessness may involve, hard work and success. Beyonce is an artist who has worked exceptionally hard to become the icon she is today. To illustrate the appreciation Beyonce has for hard working women, in 2014 after the VMAS, Beyonce presented a successful female rapper, Nicki Minaj, with a diamond necklace with the words “FLAWLESS” on it. So, “This diamond, flawless, my diamond, flawless, this rock, flawless, my rock flawless”, is the lyrical imagery not necessarily meant to be an excuse to purely brag about her wealth and the accessories she 's able to afford because of it, but rather Beyonce uses it in her lyrics and music video as something to symbolize

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