One of my coworkers hates Beyoncé. I don’t understand this. Sasha Fierce is my idol, my guru, and my main source of shake-what-yo-momma-gave-ya wisdom. But my colleague dislikes Beyonce’s music because she doesn’t understand why a married woman is singing about empowering single ladies.
She has a valid point, though. Most of Ms. Knowles’ best-loved songs center on being a fabulous single lady, surviving bad men, and moving on. I argue that Beyoncé, and all artists, have the right to create a fictional narrative in their music. But is my inspiration-to-be a bootylicious babe coming from a false idol? When I ask if a man can pay my bills, my automobills, and my credit card bills, am I being misled by a woman who can clearly pay her own bills, if not the U.S. deficit?
Perhaps I should look to true single girl icons in music to get me pumped up to hit the town. Many of us can relate to Britney’s “Womanizer,” a song clearly reflective of her own struggles. We relate not only to the lyrical womanized lady, but the Britney we’ve followed in the tabloids. Or I could look to Lady Gaga. Now there’s a woman who brushes off her troubles and just dances–something I’ve been known to do after a bad date, when troubled, or just bored.
Is it better to look to Beyoncé, who is not the single lady she claims to be? Or to Ms. Spears, who has known the same womanizers we’ve all dealt with? This is like turning to your friend who’s always in a steady relationship as opposed to your perpetually single friend. The “boyfriend friend” may try to hang onto the singles scene but at the end of the night she’s going home to a reliably warm embrace. Your hot mess of a single friend, while incapable of providing much relationship insight, brings the late-night fun. Every night. So I guess I have to categorize: I’ll go to Beyonce for advice on empowerment, and to Britney when I want to…dance.