Beyonce's "Drunk in Love" Fails to Empower

Although “Queen B” didn’t grace the Super Bowl stage again this year, her football presence certainly wasn’t nonexistent.  The night before at a Super Bowl pre-game party, Beyonce joined her husband, Jay-Z on stage. Together they performed her recent hit “Drunk in Love.”

Beyonce performing at the Superbowl in 2013

Although a shrewd businesswoman, new mother and loving wife, Beyonce hasn’t escaped criticism. Like most women in the media, it often seems like Beyonce can’t win.  When released that that the name of her recent world tour was to be “Mrs. Carter” there was an outcry from several corners of the web. Other complaints have included: she faked her pregnancy, she’s a bad role model for young girls and that she’s secretly had plastic surgery done on her face 

 It’s tough to catch a break when you’re a female in the limelight, but is it possible that Beyonce isn’t the embodiment of empowerment?

Despite the criticism mentioned above, Beyonce is often cited as a feminist to admire,.  However, it seems that the truth is that Beyonce’s performances aren’t much different than any other barely-clad, overly sexualized modern day pop star.

Beyonce in her music video, "Drunk in Love"

In her recent Grammy’s performance of “Drunk in Love” with Jay-Z  (and in the song’s music video), Beyonce is clad in skimpy outfits, crawling on the ground and generally acting submissive towards Jay Z, while he is fully dressed and remains upright the entire time.*

Although there is nothing wrong with wearing barely-there clothing or shaking your ass, the notion of a women needing to do these things in order to be viewed as equally relevant, sexy and enticing as her fellow male artists or even her husband, is not a message of equality or empowerment.

This isn't much different...

Beyonce’s Grammy’s performance was minimally different than Miley Cyrus’s notorious performance with Robin Thicke at the 2013 VMAs.  The two differences? Beyonce is married to the man she grinded on while Miley isn’t., and Miley received an enormous negative backlash from her performance while Beyonce was applauded.

....than this

Perhaps it’s time for society to stop trying to dictate what women can and can’t do on stage, in the bedroom, or anywhere else for that matter. Better yet, maybe it’s time for women to remain upright and let the men do the bending over for once.

*For an in depth analysis of the problematic lyrics in "Drunk in Love" check out the Time's recent article.

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