This past Sunday was one of the biggest nights in pop culture—the MTV Video Music Awards. The coveted list of performers for this award show slowly grew as this event approached, and it wasn’t until the early weeks of August that Queen Bey was added to the roster. Beyonce was not only the most nominated artist, with a total of 8 nominations, she was slated to receive MTV’s Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, which is bacially a highly coveted lifetime-achievement award for an artist, who’s body of work is deemed culturally significant.
This seemed fitting for one of the most influential music artists currently, and when Beyonce took to the stage Sunday night, she did not disappoint. Beyonce’s performance, which clocked in around 16 minutes was a medley of songs from Beyonce’s most recent release. After welcoming the viewers into her world,
the Supreme demonstrated why she is the powerful cultural entity that is Beyonce. Though her performance was full on awe-inspiring feats of imagery, as a Beyonce performance can be expected to produce, The moment when Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s speech from “Flawless” was projected on the screen, culminating in the picture shown above of Beyonce standing in front of a very powerful F-Word. This word is feminist, which in recent times has become quite the controversy for Beyonce, who’s concepts of feminism have been greatly criticized. This image of Beyonce went viral within a few hours of the VMAs, with one post claiming This is the only photo you need to see from the VMAs.
The public was pretty split on whether this was a proper exemplification of modern-day feminism. People on the pro-Beyonce said applaud the Supreme for her declaration of Feminism, even thanking Beyonce for helping to spread feminist views to the masses. Beyonce’s performance was not met with all positive reactions though. Some found Beyonce’s demonstration of her feminist views to be in bad taste, and also confusing. These critics felt that this performance was contradictory, finding the juxtaposition of going from displaying lots of asses to feminism was eye-rolling inducing.
While I do align myself with the Pro-Beyonce side, I am not unwelcoming of her critics. I think a healthy debate on what modern-day feminism should look like is healthy for our society. Only through debating and public production of a new hegemonic view of feminism, can artists like Beyonce hope to demonstrate too female empowerment.
Even if Beyonce is not able to accomplish this change in the public’s perception of feminism in her life time, One cannot deny that Beyonce is, and will always be the Supreme.