I should preface this by saying that I think Beyoncé is fierce. Her body is fierce. Her singing is fierce. Her dancing is fierce, and her video for “Formation” is fierce. But this song does not speak for me. Maybe it’s because I did not grow up down south, nor did my parents. Maybe it’s because I do not carry hot sauce in my “bag swag.” Maybe it’s because I never rock Givenchy – it is too expensive. I appreciate that Beyoncé empowers herself with her latest release. But this song does not speak for me.
I do not deny that Beyoncé serves as an inspiration for many of us. I, myself, am inspired by the way that she fully embraces her sexuality. Beyoncé will always be remembered for her talent and celebrity, and the confidence that she exudes is admirable. But I want to make something clear – Beyoncé may be “a black Bill Gates in the making,” but that is not something I aspire to (another cliché). Beyoncé may be able to seek revenge with her "paper," but I can’t. I do not have her net worth. We can not all be like Beyoncé. Beyoncé does not define what it means to be an empowered woman, you do. Beyoncé is not the standard; you set the standard.
Empowerment is born of women (and men) who contribute to this world using their unique gifts and talents that make them a celebrity in their own right. What empowers me is different from what empowers you, which is different from what empowers Beyoncé. My hustle to break barriers as a black woman does not involve wealth (as defined by the institution) and dirty lyrics. But still, Beyoncé and I do have a few things in common, one of which is the recognition of what makes us stand out – what makes us women of color and worth, period.
Do you recognize what makes you a woman of worth? Please share your comments below, and don’t forget to read your horoscope for the week ahead.