I have absolutely no interest in football. I have only minor interest in the collateral Super Bowl buzz- the parties, the ads, the half-time show. But I love Beyonce, so I made sure to watch a clip of her stunning half-time performance.
I have loved Beyonce since Destiny's Child was a group of four girls wearing dresses made by Beyonce's mother. I saw Destiny's Child open for TLC many years ago. Their big hit at the time, if I remember correctly, was "Bills, Bills, Bills." Even then there was one girl who stood out above the rest. I remember looking at her and thinking she would have a powerful solo career one day. Later I discovered her name was Beyonce Knowles.
Hip Hop, R&B and Pop are not my favorite genres of music, although my years working in FM radio gave me a certain appreciation of each decade's best jams. Beyonce has set herself above the rest not only with her vocal range and power, classic grace and snappy dance moves. The thing that in my mind makes Beyonce the current reigning diva supreme is this.
Underneath the skin-tight clothes and sexy moves, Beyonce is a feminist. While so much of the Hip Hop vibe is obviously degrading to women, Beyonce used the medium to empower women. Her songs such as "Independent Woman" and "Single Ladies," so beautifully reprised during the half-time show, remind us of our power as women. Her decision to put together a great all-female band reminds us that women aren't just showpieces, or pretty girls who sing. Women have power.
That's a message young girls and women need to hear and remember.
Back in the days of the "Second Wave of Feminism" it often seemed that powerful women needed to avoid being attractive. If you were pretty you were simply playing to the patriarchy. To have power your looks needed to be unremarkable.
Even in recent years the most powerful women in our country have usually not been the most beautiful. Oprah has a weight problem. Hilary is the queen of the pantsuit.
Beyonce demonstrates that we can have our beauty and our brains as well.
We can be sexy. We can be desirable. But that doesn't make us weak, and it doesn't make us playthings of men. Beyonce shows us we can be strong, beautiful and independent.