International Women’s Day was celebrated last month, shedding light on those who have campaigned equalrights for women over the world. The day saw men in Kabul campaigning against women wearing the burqa, and newspapers commemorating amazing women such as Malala Yousafzai, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Andrea Dworkin and many more who have become modern day advocates for the feminist movement. Yet still in 2015 so many females flinch when they are referred to as ‘feminist’?
It made me think about celebrities who have branded themselves ‘feminist’ and my mind was suddenly drawn to my all-time favourite artist: Beyoncé. I’ll admit, I am the first in line to Beyoncé booty shake to ‘Crazy in love’ and click my fingers, proclaiming how I don’t need no man to be an ‘independent woman’. Rather impressively, Beyoncé has achieved what many women in the music industry have for the most part failed to do: succeed. The artist has created her $115 million net worth mostly by herself and she reigns at the top of the Forbes list of top 100 most wealthy celebrities, 5 places higher than her husband Jay-Z.
Feminism is all about wanting equality so surely this makes Beyoncé a feminist? She is an activist for female empowerment and is one of the few stars who will speak openly about feminism. In an interview she did with British Vogue last year she said ‘I guess I am a modern feminist. I believe in equality.’ Yet many feel disgruntled when referring to Beyoncé as a feminist, after all she does prance around stage in next to nothing and many of her songs include crude lyrics about the female body and how it will satisfy her male companion. Yes I agree that this can be a contradiction and some her lyrics can at times can be demeaning towards women. However, the incredible outfits that she wears accentuate her curvaceous figure which is a breath of fresh air especially after seeing fashion runways filled with sized 0 models. These outfits do not, and should not, automatically make her a sexual object for men. We as women have control over our body, something that was recently reinforced by those who took part in the ‘slut walk’. The ‘slut walk’ took place in reaction to Toronto Police Constable Michael Sanguinetti saying: ‘’I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this – however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” Beyoncé flies in the face of those who make idiotic misogynistic comments such as these; she is not a victim.
If I was wearing a hat then, I would tip it to Beyoncé. I don’t class her as the face of feminism but she is a positive figure when it comes to female empowerment. For she conquered the music industry and has done so without having to produce a sex tape or bow down to a man along the way. Because of this, I will forever do the iconic ‘single ladies’ dance (granted not as good as our B) and try to convince myself that I wake up ‘Flawless.’