The importance of language and image.
“Only Fans Understand” is a feature here on “Seriously, Beyonce`, WTH?” in which I discuss things that really only fans understand LOL. I put dashes of the part that spells “stan” because some use the term “stan” to describe “stalker-fans” or hardcore fans lol. Anyhow, today I wanted to talk about the importance of language and image for Beyonce`. Recently, I heard “See Me Now,” a Kanye West song in which Beyonce` is featured. She uses “niggas” in the song, and I found that beyond tacky. Similar to how I felt about Beyonce’s use of “bitch” in the song “Ego” (see Stop Reinforcing the B.S. 10-21-09), I think Beyonce’s use of the n-word is reinforcement of negative practices within the African-American community and furthers a negative image of African-Americans mainstream media. That’s just the 1st reason why Beyonce` shouldn’t have used the word. The 2nd is that the word carries too much controversy, and in order to keep a graceful or clean-cut image in the industry, it’s best to avoid controversy. 3rd, at minimum the word is “street” and Beyonce` needs to uphold her classy image in order to become the Barbra Streisand-esque icon she claims to want to be.
Here lately, Beyonce’s been dabbling in tacky fairly frequently. From the borderline skankola clothing in “Video Phone” and her performance costume at the European Music Awards, to the expletives sprinkled all over “I Am…Sasha Fierce” and the language used during her “I Am Yours...” Vegas show. The average person might ask “why is this is important?” and feel that Beyonce’s language or performance costumes aren’t a big deal. To average person it’s not, but to the hardcore fan (“stans,” “bees”, Beyonce` ninjas, whatever you call them), it crucial. The hardcore fan cares about Beyonce’s success, longevity and iconic status, and image (for better or worse) is a large factor in that. Beyonce currently has a great public image that’s founded on how clean-cut and classy she is. One media sourced referenced her as “the last lady in pop music.” Some people find it refreshing how poised Beyonce` is. Tacky clothes and coarse language can take away from that.
I think Beyonce` has been TRYING on purpose to be a little rougher and edgier. I’m not sure what she’s trying to prove or do by going in that direction, but it’s not necessary and it won’t be helpful to her if she continues in that direction. She’s at a point in her career where she can either become icon, or the just the leader of this current time. Everything has worked for her so far; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It’s irritating to me when I see her trying to be street, gangsta or “hard” for 3 reasons. #1 it’s sooooo typical- it’s what everyone is and does. Everyone else is the “bad girl” or the “edgy girl” and uses “pushing the envelope” to get attention. Not that Beyonce` has had a “push the envelope” moment; I’m just putting that out there. #2 it doesn’t work for her. It’s just plain not believable. #3 it can be perceived as inconsistent. Who are going to be? Ok, I think I’m done fussing for now.
Please head over to the “Entertainment” section on this blog and check out “The Curious Case of Beyonce`: How to Become the Queen of Pop.” It’s a career analysis in which I detail what steps I think Beyonce` should take if she wants to be the next chick on the throne. Enjoy.