Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From 'Beyoncé'
I racked my brain for days and days over which holiday movie I should write about for the last Christmasy EINTKILF. I could not decide between the few movies I haven’t touched on yet, but truth be told? I have been pretty un-spirited this year. Retail life has got me down, and my family is bickery, and though I am in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it! I am still feeling kinda blue. But you know what? Beyoncé dropped a secret album and changed all of our plans, so I am totally comfortable following suit and changing my plans as well.
So her gift to us is my gift to you.
EINTKILF Beyoncé, the New Beyoncé Album
1. Perfection sucks.
Life sucks. Even Beyoncé understands that.
“Soul not for sale/probably won’t make no money off this, oh well/reap what you sow/perfection is so”
In the song “Pretty Hurts,” Bey perfectly describes how all women feel at some point in their lives. Though not all of us can relate to participating in a beauty pageant necessarily, all of us can at least relate to being told how we can be more beautiful instead of simply accepting ourselves.
Let’s stop that, huh?
2. It is okay to be sexy.
So many jokes have been made about Beyoncé (the album, not the woman) because of the surprisingly overt sexuality. Bey is no stranger to sexy (OBVS) but she has never really had such explicit lyrics before. The “Naughty Girl” is finally telling us just how naughty she can be.
And guess what? I love it. Because, though I believe Beyoncé has always accepted her sexuality, she has never been quite so outright with it. As a growing artist, I think it is lovely; and as a wife, I think it is even more wonderful that she can express her love and natural desire for her husband.
Also, when I just said “as a growing artist and a wife,” it sounded like I was talking about myself. I am neither of those things. YET. WATCH OUT WORLD.
3. LOVE YOUR HUSBAND.
Oh, I guess I’m in an all caps mood today. Blame the rad combo of working retail and the holiday season.
Anywhoozles, as I kind of just acknowledged, I think it is cool that Bey has no problem talking about her wife title because if you choose to get married, you should be able to talk about it. I used to think girls who called themselves “wives” as a title were super oppressed, but I could not feel more different in my old age. I thought it was badass that Bey called her tour “The Mrs. Carter,” even if she got flack for it.
“I took some time to live my life/but don’t think I’m just his little wife.”
4. Nobody is perfect.
“Know I’m not the girl you thought you knew and that you wanted/underneath the pretty face is something complicated.”
Beyoncé ain’t just a pretty face. Neither am I. I have never really been treated as such… and I am assuming Beyoncé hasn’t either, at least not for quite some time.
But I will remind you that, even though you may idolize someone, no one is perfect. Not even Beyoncé.
(It actually hurts to say that.)
5. Be happy with yourself.
“But you can’t fix what you can’t see/it’s the soul that needs the surgery”
I am loving the emphasis on beauty obsession in this album. There is nothing more important than a woman with such influence (such as Queen Bey) speaking out about beauty standards. Knowing that who we obsess over trying to look like (is that just me?) thinks it ridiculous that we are always trying to be something we aren’t–especially physically–is really reassuring.
“You left a shattered mirror/and the shards of a beautiful girl”
Hey, ladies (and no hate, dudes probably feel it too): please remember this. You are inherently a beautiful person. We are born beautiful. Do not tummy tuck and beat yourself up. Do not Mean Girls yourself. Your pores are fine. No one notices how fat your arms are in that picture (cause they aren’t)! No one cares if you are five pounds up or down. No one notices the frizziness of the curls on the left side of your head as compared to the right. People see your beautiful smile and your heart and your humongous smile.
If you don’t believe me, at least believe Beyoncé.
6. How to go out on the town.
Obviously, you need fifty-leven girls, bangs and grills.
Two things here. First of all, I never leave the house without my bangs. They are my pride and joy next to my eyelashes, and also they are attached to my head. Secondly, can we talk about how hip-hop has just made “fifty-leven” a number? It’s like, guys… that’s not a thing. I love hip-hop. It’s like a Dr. Seuss story. Need a number to rhyme with something? Make it up! Get crazy! How many people is fifty-leven??
It doesn’t matter, I am pretty sure I don’t have fifty-leven girlfriends.
7. XO is the cutest.
I don’t know if I really have a lesson here, I just want to point out that I think “XO” is the sweetest sentiment possibly ever? and I sign my emails to my editors with “xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo” because I love them and I taught my brother’s G of a best friend what “XO” means and he told everyone that I invented it, sooooo….that all being said, this video and this song are the most adorable.
I’m just all about kissing.
8. Even perfection gets jealous.
The song “Jealous” is probably the best thing that has ever happened to me. Beyoncé has given me songs about kicking men out of the house (to the left, y’all), and she has given me songs about, like, telling ladies to watch your men when you’re up in the club, and she has given us PLENNNNNTY of songs about feeling good about being single, but MAN ALIVE. She has finally touched on my not-so-little secret: I am the jealous type. I know, I know. Why would anyone with such big hair and such deep modesty ever be jealous of another woman? I don’t know… because it is human nature?
If Beyoncé can get jealous, we can all get jealous. I am now *even prouder to call myself just a bit crazy.
*Not that I was super proud of my crazy jealousy before, but I have always been willing to admit it because I am just pretty honest with myself and also I kind of think it’s flattering when people get jealous because in a sweet way it’s like, awww they care about who I’m spending my time with.
Or something that sounded sweet. You guys think I’m nuts now, huh?
9. Being a mom is awesome, probably.
“My heart beats so damn quick when you say my name/when I’m holding you tight.”
So, I don’t know. That’s cute, you guys.
Never forget how darn cute this picture is.
10. THE DEFINITION OF BEING A FEMINIST.
“***Flawless.” “***Flawless” is… flawless. There is absolutely nothing that is not entirely perfect about this song. Beyoncé features Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED talk about women and there is nothing I can say here that she does not cover herself.
“We raise girls to see each other as competitors. Not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.”
There are not words in my vocabulary to say it better than Miss Adichie, but I can tell you that she is absolutely right. I can tell you that just when I was sure I could not love Beyoncé more, she went and made this song. It is a perfect combination of ballin’ and truthful and just when you chalk it up to a dumb hip-hop song with a catchy beat, she drops Adichie on us. These women are powerhouses. These two beautiful, wonderful examples of feminism.
As aforementioned, Beyoncé caught a lot of flack this year for not being feminist enough, but she certainly proves those accusations wrong. She owns her sexuality, she is proud of who she is, she loves her man, she does exactly what she wants to do, she is raising a beautiful young daughter, and maybe most importantly (considering her role in society), she is making sure girls know that they can do it too. We can do it all. No shame.
I hope I can have even a tenth of the influence Beyoncé has on anyone’s life. I think I represent feminism very well, and I think I have my wonderful musical influences to thank for that. (And my mother. She’s super tough.)
Oh, and I’m not all that bad. Merry Christmas, you filthy animals.
Featured image via , “***Flawless” image via usweekly.