OK…I know this will be a controversial choice, but I’m going with it so HA! lol. Glam Media along with Coca Cola Pay it Forward asked me and some other fab bloggers to write a post on a person or event we find influential and how that person or thing has shaped us in some way. My pick is a person who had a pretty monumentous event. And that person is…
Beyoncé! And I KNOW you saw her Super Bowl Halftime performance.
Now I know many would protest this choice, but look beyond the dance tights, pants-less performance outfits, and wind machines and look at the impact this woman has on our generation. Not since Michael Jackson has any star been lauded by so many across the world (I mean, I was in Warsaw last September where people smiled and pointed at me and the only other Black woman on the trip because they rarely get to see Black people there and I bet you they ALL know the lyrics to “Single Ladies.”). But have you ever stopped to marvel at the fact that a woman is the one commanding all this attention? Okay, yes, I do get that her flawless appearance is a huge factor in that, but it’s in the way that even though she seems extra introverted (ever see a Bey interview?) and then commands that stage, is phenomenal.
Plus the fact that we adore her yet know very little about her personal life is something else I admire. The other day my own niece (she’s 18) said to me “You never tell us anything about your life. Like you could have a boyfriend and we wouldn’t even know.” To which I replied “That’s because I’m Beyoncé,”…lol. No but seriously, in a culture of oversharing through social media, it’s refreshing to have someone be so guarded about their privacy. I think so many of us could learn a thing or two about that, right?
And as much as people pick apart her songs ranging from “Say My Name” to “Bills, Bills, Bills” to “Irreplaceable” and “Single Ladies,” I do notice there’s always a theme of female empowerment. I can’t even BEGIN to tell you how much Destiny’s Child’s “Girl” got me through a breakup back in like 2005…lol. And the woman made it a point to have an all-female band.
And then there’s the thing that’s the most inspiring to me about Beyoncé: her drive for doing better. There are so many times when I half-step on something because I’m tired and overworked. But then I think WWBD (what would Beyoncé do) and it makes me want to do better. Hey, it’s the Virgo in us! We can’t help it.
But while I’m sure King Bey gives back monetarily in more ways than we’ll ever know, one thing I really admire about her is how she also admires her peers and idolizes other Black female performers. Right after her Super Bowl performance (which brought out former DC bandmates Kelly and Michelle) she wrote a handwritten letter to also congratulate Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys for being great and posted it to her Instagram. It just warmed my heart because how often are Black women seen praising each other in the media? In reality TV shows (you know the ones, I don’t need to name them…lol) we’re shown as bullies fighting each other both physically and emotionally. It even happens in our day-to-day. Growing up in NYC this happened both directly and inadvertently. The “ice grilling” stares, the gossiping, the physical altercations between Black females—you know what I mean. And I’m sure it happened wherever you grew up, too. But I like that now as an adult I’m able to do whatever I can to be kind—whether it’s something as simple as helping another sista bring her suitcase down a flight of stairs at Penn Station while she holds her baby or just holding the door or complimenting a woman on her cute shoes or haircut or WHATEVER. It just feels good to do good, ya know!
And although this is in honor of Black History Month, this sisterhood shouldn’t only be among “sistas” but to all women. It’s time we all started being nicer and more supportive of each other and it’s funny that such a controversial female figure like Beyoncé is the one who sparked this post :)
And P.S. next time someone is giving you grief about anything, simply tell them…
Because a great mentor can make all the difference, Coca-Cola has teamed up with Magic Johnson, Common and Debra Lee of BET Networks to give four young people the apprenticeship experience of a lifetime. Visit MCR.com/PayItForward to nominate an aspiring youth and help pay it forward to the next generation. You’ll also be automatically entered for a chance to win $5,000 for each nomination you make (up to five nominations per person).
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Coca-Cola via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Coca-Cola.