We Used To Love Her
Beyonce, can you please put on some pants and sing a decent song?
Admit it, Mama Madames, the mind-warping music that our some of our sisters are putting out these days can be classified as garbage for the minds, bodies and souls of young adults, let alone children and especially our young brown girls. But what do you do when you have a child who has music coming out of her sweet little pores and wants you to “turn it up!”?
I look back on the Beyonce videos I used to show my daughter and want to put myself in timeout. Granted, my daughter was two-years-old in 2008 and could barely (at least I’m hoping) figure out what was going on she just saw dancing and singing — and yes, lots of weave and legs. But now at four, my daughter is just too observant and impressionable to let her hear or see any of this mess going on right now with women in the music industry.
So I tell her little white lies. “Beyonce, doesn’t have any new music out right now, sweet pea,” I say. “Just listen to that Kidz Bop CD again (and again and again).”
I understand an artist’s freedom of expression, their right to make whatever they feel. I also agree that parents are the first line of defense when it comes to things like the messages and images that permeate our children’s spirit. It just seems we — and that’s a collective “we” — are at the point where some artists have absolutely no regard for responsibility for their product. If the bottom-line is to get folks talking, I guess they are doing their job.
Once upon a time, it seemed Beyonce was more concerned about the role she plays. “The older I get, the more I think about the amount of influence I have on these young girls, and it’s scary sometimes. But I also understand how lucky I am to have that,” she told Vogue magazine’s annual Shape Issue in 2009.
I’ve been to two Beyonce concerts and have loved her as an artist for years, I even interviewed her twice when she was with Destiny’s Child. But her last few videos have been full of the most suggestive and demeaning imagery. Her latest, “Why Don’t You Love Me,” (penned by her sister, Solange) is just a “porno audition tape,” as blogger Donovan Ramsey recently said.
We don’t watch any videos in our house anymore unless I know I have already seen them from beginning to end. Who knows what inappropriate visuals are going to pop up on the screen or what crazy lyric is going to come out of their mouth. Take Rihanna’s “Rude Boy” where she says, “I like the way you pull my hair.” Did I just hear that or better yet, did my daughter just hear that? Oh, yes she did and now she’s asking me to explain why Rihanna likes her hair to be pulled.
Am I picking on Beyonce? Yes, because I was so much of a fan, and am surprised to see the path she’s taking her career… but she’s not alone. Maybe I’m just an over-protective mom, but I don’t think so. If Beyonce was a mom, I wonder if — or at least hope–she’d be thinking a little more about how she’s playing herself.