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Beyonce's Super Bowl Halftime Performance: Why it May Undermine the Feminist Movement


There's Something to be Said for Class: Why Do They Want To Dress Like That?

Sandy Hook Students

Beyonce’s performance at the Superbowl on Sunday night was nothing short of epic for her stunning vocal skills, flashy dance moves, and of course, an unforgettable reunion with her Destiny’s Child sisters.  Although obviously talented, Beyonce’s performance was overshadowed by her barely there ensemble, and overly sexual dance moves.  

An article I read in the Wall Street Journal in March 2011 described one mother’s concern that parents not only allowed their daughters to dress as though they’re trying to “get laid,” they actually encouraged that behavior.  But where does the appeal come from?

GQ recently named Beyonce as the “Hottest Woman of the 21st Century.”  Coincidence?  

After watching Beyonce gyrate around the Superdome on Sunday, and following her crown in GQ, it’s time for us to take a step back at the direction of young women in society.  Beyonce is not alone in taking advantage of the “sex to sell” method -- it was the Super Bowl, anyway.  A number of other celebrities, with no talent, who serve no productive role in society (i.e. Kim Kardashian, who is only famous because of a “leaked” sex tape) present mass appeal for young women.  

Don’t be mistaken. I am not a prude, and I am not advocating that women walk around in buttoned-up cardigans, maxi skirts and pearls all the time.  But what is so wrong with dressing with the class of a Kate Middleton?  

Beyonce is a mother.  Is that the example we should be setting for our daughters?  Dressing as though we’re naked or about to go to the bedroom on national tv is a classy or reputable thing we should be doing or promoting?

Why should women lobby on Capitol Hill for equal rights when we can just use sex appeal to get what we want?  Is that the message we want or should be sending?

For those reading this thinking I am being overly harsh on Beyonce don’t get me wrong.  I realize that the Super Bowl half-time show is meant to appeal to the male audience.  I know that entertainers are “flashy.” Frankly, when I sat in a group of my male friends the other day, and asserted,

“Beyonce was pretty much naked.”  They looked at me with blank stares.

With that being said, I don’t think it was the intention of the feminist movement for women to take any newfound empowerment and flounce about with their extremities hanging out. The issue of women’s rights, while we’re light-years ahead of where we were even 25 years ago, is still a lively discussion.  Women still make less money for the same work in the workplace.  But we want to strut around frivolously and still be taken seriously?

Do we want our daughters to be Beyonce or do we want them to be the first woman President?

Women activists have crusaded for the right to vote, equal pay, equal potential to move up the corporate chain, and the right for sovereignty over their body.

Our foremothers, or what have you, have worked entirely too hard, and continue to work too hard to be taken seriously and considered equal.

Let’s not squander it for the sake of gyrations and sex appeal.

Contact Alyssa Bonk at abonk08@gmail.com

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Check out more of Alyssa's work at Blocktalkradio.com/backroompolitics, Luckandhustle.blogspot.com and Smart Girl Politics

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