All Articles Tagged "beyonce"

University Of Texas To Offer Course On Rihanna Womanism Vs. Beyoncé Feminism

October 23rd, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Getty

Good news for stans! You can finally get college credit for doing what most of us have been doing for free – and without accreditation – on Twitter since its inception. You can now argue about who is better? Rihanna or Beyonce?

Better yet, you can argue Beyonce’s feminism vs. Rihanna’s womanism. According to KMBZ.com, The African & African Diaspora Studies department at the University of Texas will be presenting “Beyonce Feminism, Rihanna Womanism” (course number: AFR 372C, 29690 for those interested in changing majors).

According to the course description, which is available on the website, It’s All Academic:

By comparison, this class has a very eye-catching title. Whether or not you are a Beyoncé Bey or part of the Rihanna Navy, it will cause you to do a double take while scrolling through electives. The one downside, students may not realize the type of academic inquiry or material that will be covered in the course.

Students in this class will learn that there is far more than catchy melodies to Beyoncé’s and Rihanna’s music. They will not be simply listening to Beyoncé and Rihanna for fun or even comparing the roles of Beyoncé and Rihanna in popular culture, rather, students will be studying how the lyrics, music videos, and actions of these women express various aspects of black feminism such as violence, economic opportunity, sexuality, standards of beauty, and creative self-expression. The instructor hopes for students to understand the role black feminism plays in popular culture as well as everyday life.

For any student interested in women’s and gender studies or how popular culture reflects social studies, this is a class that will make them fall crazy in love.

While Beyoncé has been very vocal about her feminism, I don’t recall Rihanna declaring herself a womanist. So I’m not certain how fair and empowering it is to put a label on her that she might not own or even want. But there is no denying that Rihanna’s entire persona is so expressive, culturally centered, sexually-liberated and steeped in independence. With that in mind, I can certainly see the correlations. For instance, think about her in regards to Alice Walker’s definition of womanism, taken from In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose (and off of this Tumblr):

WOMANIST

1. From womanish. (Opp. of “girlish,” i.e. frivolous, irresponsible, not serious.) A black feminist or feminist of color. From the black folk expression of mothers to female children, “you acting womanish,” i.e., like a woman. Usually referring to outrageous, audacious, courageous or willful behavior. Wanting to know more and in greater depth than is considered “good” for one. Interested in grown up doings. Acting grown up. Being grown up. Interchangeable with another black folk expression: “You trying to be grown.” Responsible. In charge. Serious.

2. Also: A woman who loves other women, sexually and/or nonsexually. Appreciates and prefers women’s culture, women’s emotional flexibility (values tears as natural counterbalance of laughter), and women’s strength. Sometimes loves individual men, sexually and/or nonsexually. Committed to survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female. Not a separatist, except periodically, for health. Traditionally a universalist, as in: “Mama, why are we brown, pink, and yellow, and our cousins are white, beige and black?” Ans. “Well, you know the colored race is just like a flower garden, with every color flower represented.” Traditionally capable, as in: “Mama, I’m walking to Canada and I’m taking you and a bunch of other slaves with me.” Reply: “It wouldn’t be the first time.”

3. Loves music. Loves dance. Loves the moon. Loves the Spirit. Loves love and food and roundness. Loves struggle. Loves the Folk. Loves herself. Regardless.

4. Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender.

Note: For those who want a refresher course on defining feminism, you can check out this link here. But even without the labels (or mislabeling), I can see some very fruitful debates coming out of this course, particularly around how we relate to each celebrity’s womanhood. And in fact, I can probably write an entire dissertation myself on the parallels as well as distinctions, but there aren’t any jobs out here for knowing Beyoncé and Rihanna.

What is interesting to note about this course description is how Rihanna is given the title of womanism, which has cultural ties, while Beyoncé, who has declared herself a feminist, is looked at from that angle, and according to some, “feminism” is only made for white women. I’m interested in seeing how the intersections of race (including intra-racial issues) as well as class (is feminism for more affluent women whereas womanism is for us commonfolk?) play into the debate.

But what say you? Are we here for a course focused on Beyoncé and Rihanna’s gender politics?

He Put A Ring On It…Again: Jay Z And Beyoncé Reportedly Renew Their Vows

October 23rd, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Source: WENN.com

Source: WENN.com

For months there was speculation that Jay Z and Beyoncé’s relationship was possibly on the rocks after that elevator video leaked and shook up the world. But alas, it seems that all is well with the couple, because according to People, the two found time to renew their vows recently.

A source admitted to the magazine that they were going through things, like most married couples, but worked on them and are in a good place. The motive behind trying to work on everything was reportedly “for the sake of their reputations and their 2-year-old daughter.” Not necessarily in that order I hope…

“They did have major problems. But they worked it out and they’ve renewed their vows.”

And not only that, but the source says that the couple is “looking for a place” in Paris, the same place where they were engaged, conceived Blue Ivy and finished their joint On The Run tour. They’ve checked out properties near the River Seine and near Elysee Palace. The couple have been snapped by paparazzi moving about in Paris checking out the pricey real estate.

One other thing the source confirmed that the couple is doing together is a joint album, which isn’t a surprise since it seems like the natural next step after performing together for months.

Glad to see these two were able to work on whatever issues they had, but do you believe there were any really big issues threatening to separate them in the first place? As crazy Mathew Knowles once said:

“From experience, there’s a tour going on. So you sometimes have to ignite that tour. It’s called a Jedi mind trick. The Jedi mind trick fools you a lot…Everyone’s talking about it. Ticket sales went up. Solange’s album sales went up 200%!”

Whatever was going on, we’re just glad to hear of two people in Hollywood staying together. It’s becoming all too rare these days…

Michael Costello Responds To Racial Slur Controversy: “I Have Worked My Whole Life To Further The Cause Of Equality”

October 21st, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Corbis Images, Splash News

Corbis Images, Splash News

Yesterday, we reported on the public urging Beyonce to sever ties with fashion designer Michael Costello after an image surfaced of him allegedly calling someone the n-word on Instagram during a debate.  Costello’s publicist reached out to MadameNoire with an exclusive statement from the designer, which read:

“I have never used, and would never use, racial slurs. The hurtful  screenshot circulating is fake and does not represent my views on society, nor do I condone the use of such a terrible term. I have worked my whole life to further the cause of equality. Diversity is the very foundation that Michael Costello (the brand) was built upon. I am deeply upset and I am struggling to understand why someone would try to tarnish my reputation by creating a fake screenshot of me using a derogatory term.”

Costello’s attorney, Neama Rahmani, backed up the designer’s claim, adding:

“Fortunately, Instagram has been very cooperative in working with Mr. Costello to delete accounts created by the people who created the false picture and who are attempting to disseminate it, Mr. Costello and his attorneys will continue working with Instagram and the legal system to bring these cyber bullies to justice.”

So, far Beyonce hasn’t responded to her fans pleading with her to desert Costello. After the release of this statement, we’re pretty sure she never will. What do you think of Michael Costello’s statement?

Is Beyonce Solange’s Mother? 15 Celebrity Conspiracy Theories You Won’t Believe

October 20th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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These celebrity conspiracy theories take celebrity rumors to a new level. Get ready to be shocked, scandalized and shaken up by these behind-the-scenes stories.

Image Source: WENN.com

Image Source: WENN.com

Rihanna Has A Secret Baby

According to this rumor, when Rihanna first signed to Def Jam in 2008 she was pregnant — with Jay-Z’s baby. The buzz started when Ri went back to Barbados for nine months and came back as Def Jam’s number one star. Recently the rumor popped up again when Ri was allegedly spotted out and about Barbados with a boy who was about six years old…

Public Urges Beyoncé To Boycott Designer Michael Costello After Alleged Use Of Racial Slur

October 20th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Corbis Images

Corbis Images

There has been a bit of drama surrounding former “Project Runway” designer Michael Costello, whose designs have been worn by Beyoncé, Tamar Braxton, Jessica White and a host of other beauties. It all began a couple of weeks ago when online boutique owner Maxine James expressed in an Instagram post that Michael, who is (or was at this point) one of her favorite designers, purchased one of her designs, then shared it on his Instagram page as if it were his own creation. Her post reads:

“When I received pymt from @mtcostello @michaelcostello a week ago I was lost for words… excited but a TAD confused … I called wubs like ‘wow my favorite designer just purchased a dress from me wow he wants a dress from little ol me?!’ Like this man makes dresses for freakin BEYONCE and he just bought a dress from me!” a week later This happens he literally bought my EXACT dress … Put it on HIS model took pictures in HIS showroom as if he designed this piece his self.

It’s so disheartening I couldn’t help but shed a tear… Him as a designer should know first hand how heart breaking it is for ppl to take something you worked so hard on …..It’s like why? Who does that? I mean we ALL get inspired from some where but it is completely unfair to take someone’s EXACT design and EXACT dress at that and claim it as your own…. @michaelcostello You are already a well-known designer you design dresses for TOP celebrities… Why would you do something so low?

I put so much into my brand … I eat sleep breath it… I paid for so many mistakes while making this design I went through so much to make it perfect …for it to fit perfectly… patterns..grading …cut… Production …photo shoots ALL OF THAT and you literally take my EXACT DRESS and claim it as your own … I tried to reach out to you and you block me ? Like seriously … It’s extremely disheartening I TRUELY did look up to you as a designer…you were one of my favorites….I hope this lasts you for a life time … because God will never continue to bless someone who does evil malicious things like this…. Period.”

After learning of the young designer’s experience, social media users began to go after Michael, asking why he would do such a thing to someone who looks up to him. Now according to reports (and screenshots), Michael became so angry that he lashed out at one person with a racial slur.

“You’re just probably a dumb n—er defending her. I am royalty b—h! I dressed Beyoncé! Who are they gonna believe!” he allegedly wrote.

Instagram

Instagram

Once folks learned of his alleged use of the slur, they began reaching out to Beyoncé and her stylist Ty, begging them to stop supporting Michael’s designs. Michael’s partner, Stephanie Costello, later offered an explanation for why they purchased Maxine’s dress and shared the picture on their Instagram page. According to her version of events, she did so because the dress was ripped off from one of their older designs.

Instagram

Instagram

“There has been a recent accusation that MT Costello posted a picture on our Instagram account of a dress that was purchased from another designer. The image was later reposted by the same designer and included a caption stating we had bought the dress and were attempting to rebrand it as our own. As the co-designer of MT Costello, I feel it is important to address this matter and provide an explanation to all affected by the issue. I, Stephanie Costello, purchased the garment in question due to the apparent similarities between it and a gown that Michael Costello and I designed that was posted on social media over a year ago.

Regretfully, my emotions became involved when the dress arrived and, driven by frustration, proceeded to photograph the dress on a model in our showroom as a sarcastic and inappropriate attempt to expose the designer’s garment as a forged duplication of our own. I did not, nor ever intended to sell the item as a MT Costello product. As a business we take duplicated work very seriously as it affects our ability to support employees, interns and families. Michael and I work diligently on our gowns adding signature cuts and silhouettes unique to the MT Costello brand.

As designers we grow attached to our creations and I reacted emotionally before considering the effect it would have on the public and the brand. I realize that my attempt to expose the designer and the garment was extremely unprofessional and for that I apologize. I ask for your understanding and forgiveness for my emotionally driven reaction. I have learned a valuable lesson from this experience and fully intend to address similar situations in the future more professionally. Sincerely, Stephanie Costello.”

Maxine has since responded to Stephanie, claiming a similar dress was actually a part of Anthony Vaccarello’s 2012 Fall Collection, which means they’re guilty of the very thing that they have accused her of doing. As for his alleged use of the n-word, Michael claims the screenshots were doctored.

“The hurtful screenshot circulating is fake and does not represent my views on society, nor do I condone the use of such a terrible term,” Michael said in a statement shared on his website. “It deeply saddens me that an individual would go to such lengths at an attempt to demean and misrepresent my character. My designs are centered on accentuating the inherent and natural beauty found in EVERY woman. My career would not be where it is today without the support of individuals from all walks of life.

We are currently looking into this urgent matter to identify the culprit. At this time, we have reason to believe the fake image was edited and circulated by a disgruntled intern who is no longer employed at Michael Costello. Once the individual is fully identified, we intend to pursue legal action.”

There’s quite a bit going on here. What are your thoughts on all of this?

Twitter Reacts To Beyoncé’s Super Short Bangs

October 14th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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It's a big deal anytime Queen Bey does something different to her hair. Today, fans are weighing in on Beyoncé's super short bangs.

AKM Images, GSI

Often times when Beyoncé does something different to her hair, it is big news. Earlier today, the 33-year-old beauty stepped out in Paris with her hubby and daughter. And of course, the paps were on the scene. Apparently, she was looking to switch things up because she was rocking very short bangs, which prompted an interesting response from fans.

As always, there are those who will praise anything Queen Bey does, so many were totally here for her super short bangs. Others were not feeling them and had no qualms with taking to Twitter to let that be known.

It's a big deal anytime Queen Bey does something different to her hair. Today, fans are weighing in on Beyoncé's super short bangs.

AKM Images, GSI

It’s always amusing to see how bent out of shape folks can get about something as simple as hair. At the same time, we must say that those bangs are quite interesting.

Check out more photos of Bey’s new do (and of course, a peek at Blue Ivy) on the next page. Thoughts?

“I Was Like, This S**t Is Boring”: bell hooks On Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” Video, Beyoncé And The Female Body In Pop Culture

October 14th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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YouTube

YouTube

“The pu**y is old hat.”

That was one of the first statements that bell hooks made during the panel, “Whose Booty Is This?” at the New School in New York. hooks and the women on the panel (including Anna Czarnik-Neimeyer, Lynnee Denise and Stephanie Troutman) spoke about the new obsession in the media with booty, and female sexuality in pop culture as a whole.

“One of the reasons we’ve moved from the pu**y to the butt–the ass, the booty–is that it flips that so that it’s no longer about who has rights in the female body, but who has access to the female body.”

The panel spoke openly about women in media today and the craze over the butt. Nowadays, many notable women willingly expose their assets to the world to show that they are sexually liberated. But hooks questions if that’s the case. Beyoncé was a big topic in this discussion and throughout a majority of the panel.

“This continues to be somewhat of a crisis within feminist thinking, the inability to name what we mean when we talk about feminist liberatory sexuality. And one of the things that we see, and if I were critiquing Beyoncé on this, is the collapse of hedonistic sexuality with the notion that it’s liberating. If I’m a woman and I’m sucking somebody’s d**k in a car and they’re coming in my mouth and we can be in one of those milk commercials, or whatever, is that liberatory because I might be the person initiating that? Or is it really part of the tropes of the existing, imperialist, white supremacist, patriarchal capitalist structure of female sexuality?”

hooks touched on the this idea of sexual freedom again later on in the panel.

“They can exercise control and make lots of money, but it doesn’t necessarily equate with liberation. Most of us are pretty intoxicated with money and with making money and I really feel strongly that even with Beyoncé, even with all her talent, her looks and everything, people wouldn’t be so into her if it wasn’t that she’s also so rich. And the fact that she’s young and so, so, so wealthy so, so, soon, is as seductive as the booty, if not more so. There’s a lot of booties out there that are glamorous, but not connected to the fantasies of wealth — and we equate wealth so much with freedom.”

She also touched on the image of today’s stars on the cover of magazines and on TV and what messages their looks give off. They wear the long weaves, the blonde hair and the contoured noses, and hooks wondered whether or not these same women would be embraced if they embraced more natural looks.

“Can we imagine Beyoncé with her dreadlocks, moving the heart and soul of all the white people who claim to be so moved? Or is it that part of what they’re moved by, is her own kind of self-effacement and abjection that is always there?

Try to imagine her with some nappy dreads or some nappy hair up there swinging and dancing. And think, would she have the money she has in this culture? Is there a kind of blackness that isn’t sellable or marketable?”

hooks also said that she wishes more images would be put out there that are varied and display different experiences and looks for our young girls and women.

“I’m not lifted up by the image of [Laverne Cox on the cover of Time] or Beyoncé lifted up on the white magazines and the way they’ve been dressed and the way they look. I don’t look at those images and feel lifted up. Whereas when I go to the Carrie Mae Weems show and I see particularly the section on “Roaming” in Italy, I’m lifted up. I’m more than lifted up, I’m carried away…I wish for black girls and black teenage girls that those images were as accessible to them as the images of pop culture that are limited in their vibrancy and even in their beauty. Because a lot of times it’s a lot of reproduction of the same. That’s one of the things that struck me about “Anaconda.” I was like, this sh*t is boring. I have seen it in the first couple of shots and I kept calling people like, ‘What does it mean?’ Is there something that I’m missing that’s happening here?'”

If you have the time, check out this very enlightening panel discussion below and let us know what you think.

Radio One To Launch All-Beyoncé Radio Station In Houston

October 13th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Splash News

Splash News

Great news for die-hard Beyoncé fans. According to ABC 13, the radio station formerly known as News92 FM Houston has shut down and its parent company Radio One has announced that they will be rebranding it as an all-Beyoncé radio station.

“News92, Houston’s first FM all-news radio station, aired its last broadcast Wednesday, October 8, 2014,” read the announcement on the station’s website.

We’d like to thank the News92 staff for their outstanding service, our advertisers and each of you our listeners and web visitors for your support. This difficult decision is a result of sustained poor ratings performance and significant financial losses over the past three years despite the substantial financial and human resources we invested. Unfortunately, the market hasn’t shown a sustainable appetite for news radio, but each of you motivated us daily to produce a high-quality news program. Together, we made history.”

Radio One’s Yashima Azilove spoke with Eyewitness News about the station’s reincarnation as Beyoncé radio, saying:

“She’s Queen Bee. In looking to make a transition, we go back to what we know,” said Azilove. “We know urban radio. We’re in Houston, the combination seemed like a winning one.”

According to Billboard, if the station simply plays from Bey’s solo catalog, they’ll have 63 songs and roughly 4 hours and 15 minutes of music to work with. If they also pull from Destiny’s Child music, they’ll have 67 additional songs and roughly 4.5 more hours of material.

News 92 Houston employees were given severance packages to assist with their search for new jobs.

Nicki Minaj Shares How Beyoncé Fueled Her Desire To Settle Down & Start A Family

October 8th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Nicki Minaj discusses settling down, starting a family and what Beyoncé taught her about motherhood.

Sources: Splash News, Corbis Images

Nicki Minaj is currently at the top of her game. She’s arguably one of the most popular female rappers of our time. She has a budding acting career, not to mention all of her business ventures. But with all that she has going on, the 32-year-old rapper still hopes to add mother and wife to her resume in the future. While she initially seemed unsure of whether or not she could manage such a booming career and juggle family life, Nicki says that Beyoncé showed her that’s it’s totally possible to have it all.

“Seeing Beyoncé with her daughter and husband was so tender, and it showed me that it is possible to be an animal on stage and a caring mother at the same time,” she told Vogue.

Nicki-Minaj-Luomo-Vogue

She adds that when she does finally settle down, it will have to be with the right man.

“[I want] an upright man, who will take care of me. The time is not yet ripe, but when I decide to get married and become a mother. I would like to take a hiatus and dedicate myself completely to my child.”

“I gave myself a time limit to reach my professional goals”, she continued. “I don’t want to work my whole life without ever experiencing the joys of a family.”

Nicki says that she’s “too busy” to become a mother at the moment, but that she expects her situation to change eventually.

“Family has always been very important to me, and that is why I want to wait until the right moment before starting my own. Right now I am too busy, but at a certain point the situation will change.[...] [Watching my mom be abused] had a profound influence on my way of being a woman – never let a man cross the line or control me, especially in my career.”

Until then, the “Anaconda” rapper says she’s committed to building her empire.

“I want to build my empire. In my field, I have always seen men do it – from Diddy to Dr. Dre to Jay-Z. Now it’s a woman’s turn.”

“At first no one took me seriously. In the world of rap, women are usually relegated to the choir.”

Check out Nicki’s full interview here.

[Photos] The Carters Go House Shopping In Paris

October 3rd, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: Splash News

Source: Splash News

It looks like the Carter family is looking for a new place to call home in Paris. Beyoncé, Jay Z and Blue Ivy were photographed browsing homes near Elysee Palace on Thursday, Daily Mail reports. The trio has spent quite a bit of time in the capital of France since Jay and Bey wrapped their On the Run tour.

Source: Splash News

Source: Splash News

This, of course, pokes several holes in ever-present rumors about the couple getting a divorce. Recently, the pair revealed that the French city holds a lot of significance in their relationship.

“We love Paris,” Jay told the Parisian audience at the conclusion of the On the Run Tour . “It’s special to us because we got engaged here and this is where baby Blue was conceived.”

It’s unclear exactly how much time the Carters intend to spend in Paris, but it doesn’t appear that they plan on making it their permanent home anytime soon. According to BET, they’ve also been checking out an $85 million home in Beverly Hills, California.

 

Source: Splash News

Source: Splash News

Considering that Paris is where Jay and Kanye worked on their Watch the Throne album, perhaps it will also be where Jay and Bey will put together their collaborative album that is reportedly in the works.