A brief response to Lemonade

Beyonce’s visual album is breathtaking and heartfelt. The latter element is what truly captivates. Seeing a powerful woman, the pop culture queen, in such a vulnerable moment is not only moving, it is empowering. It reminds us that no matter what we accomplish in our lives or the amount of confidence and security we feel with ourselves, the love of someone else is always up to them. There is no way for me to claim objectivity when talking about the impact the music film and album has had on me in the last couple of days. Beyonce’s album echoes many of the emotions I am currently facing in my personal life, so it clearly appeals to me. Nevertheless, the confession of her self-doubts and recriminations, of her anger and forgiveness, serves to confirm her feminine power because it takes a woman in control of herself, her destiny, and her heart to step forward and show so much to the world. Of course, she hides more than she reveals; it is never confirmed if Jay-Z actually cheated or not. The lack of a confirmation on this allows the lyrics to be received and interpreted in a wide variety of ways: were her doubts just that, as they often are for a lot of women? And, in the end, does knowing the truth really free her from all the pain? Many fans feel somewhat angered and betrayed by Beyonce’s brand of feminism: she appears to take back a man who betrayed her trust and cheated on her. At one point she states “what a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you”, clearly accusing Jay-Z of not only cheating, but also being less than an exemplary husband in general. Despite all the dissing that goes on, the insults and the accusations, she forgives him in the end and recognises that her love was greater than his pride. Traditional feminism and woman power would have had Beyonce throwing Jay-Z out on the street and serving him with divorce papers at the end of the premiere. Instead, she ends by reminding herself and her audience of the depths of her love for him. Personally, I believe that many times it takes greater inner strength to forgive your lover and to heal your relationship than to walk away. Beyonce’s forgiveness is another example of female power.

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