Is ‘Formation’ by Beyonce overrated?

During the last few days, Queen B. her new music video ‘Formation’ is trending on all sources of Social Media. Her daughter is rocking her natural hair and Beyoncé is showing her dance moves. But what is the video actually about? ‘Formation’ is much more than a response to those who were continuously bashing Blue Ivy’s natural hair. Also, those who wondered why Beyoncé is having a relationship with Jay-Z, also got an answer on their question. Beyoncé aimed to express her pride about her black roots. Besides, she wanted to support the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. Overall, the video had been received positively. However, there are many opinions about this new single and its music video.

 

“Ever since Beyonce released “Formation” many women of color express how proud they are of their roots, simply because Beyoncé conveyed this message in her new music video. If you weren’t proud to be black before she released her opinion then you’re not authentic. It shouldn’t take for a celebrity to put out an “empowering” message for people of color to be proud of your blackness. I’ve been black my whole life, never been ashamed of it and was always told to embrace it by my family, not media.”

 

The writer of above statement thinks that woman should be proud of their roots regardless of what the media portrays as beauty ideal. She sheds some light on her background and explains that she has never been ashamed of the color of her skin. Her family encouraged her to accept her natural beauty and to ignore the beauty standards communicated by the media. Unfortunately, many women do not share the same background. For instance, a majority of women who have multi-textured hair used to relax their hair in order to meet beauty ideals steering from the slavery period. These women need role models in their life who will convince them to accept themselves. This role model might be Beyoncé, but it might also be Angela Davis or Aretha Franklin depending on age group. Thus, I do not see anything wrong with having role models or to be inspired by others.

 

A majority of women who have multi-textured hair used to relax their hair in order to meet beauty ideals steering from the slavery period.

 

(Source Beyonce Facebook page)

On the other hand, many people do not understand the how the lyrics relate to the ‘Black Lives matter’ movement.

“When he fuck me good I take his ass to Red Lobster, cause I slay”
“I’m so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress (stylin’)”
“I’m so possessive so I rock his Roc necklaces”

To be honest, I cannot really answer this question. Perhaps it was a way of Beyoncé to communicate to the audience that she could not care less what others think. However, I believe that these lines were a bit out of context. On the other hands, the video itself really showed that she wants to support the ‘Black lives matter’ movement. “How?” you may wonder. Well,

  • She solely hired black dancers
  • She highlighted social issues, such as police brutality
  • Her daughter and the dancers were rocking their natural hair (This encourages woman to accept their hair texture)
  • It was filmed in New Orleans (New Orleans contributed to the emancipation of African Americans)

It might be contradicting if the singer herself wears weave all the time. However, there have been many celebrities who had an important share in the development of opportunities for black artists in the music industry. Often these artists (e.g Aretha Franklin), did not wear their natural hair either. However,  the strong elements of the video are being overlooked, because she is wearing her weave.

At first I thought that the song and video was being hyped until I looked at the different aspects and gained some more knowledge on Black history. In order access the effectiveness of this contribution of Beyoncé to the Black community it might be worthwhile to ask other cultures what they think of the video. For instance, my colleague who is Caucasian did not really know the meaning of the video until I explained it to her. She loved the idea and decided to watch it once more during a coffee break. The video triggered curiosity and the willingness of others to seek the meaning behind the video. Thus, I believe that Queen B. did a great job.

 

X Whitney

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