Oh, y’all thought you were going to survive Super Bowl 50/Mardi Gras/the weekend without getting your wig snatched? In the middle of our Saturdays we were all blessed with a new song+video from Queen Bey. If you’ve been living under a rock on an undiscovered planet, the clean version is provided HERE.
Now let’s discuss. The Internet is on FIRE trying to deconstruct what it means, such that I am experiencing analysis paralysis while I bounce to the beat. The song unapologetically celebrates Mrs. Carter’s proud heritage and motherhood. It also makes a pointed statement on race, class, work ethic and creativity. What she’s been serving all along–and the side she let us see in her self-titled surprise album in late 2013–comes into even sharper focus. And is baby sis Solange driving the getaway car???
Bey’s “Formation” is getting on folks’ nerves for the same reasons Cam Newton’s dabbing does. The thing is, they don’t care whether we’re here for it or not because they both have a radical sense of self-acceptance that doesn’t depend on our opinions. Even more radically, she’s raising a precocious little black girl to love herself, baby hair, Afro and all. And she doesn’t give a pot of Mama Tina’s red beans what we think about it. She rocks multiple hair styles in this video and celebrates her “Negro” nose and dares you to suggest she alter (or contour) it. She’s gonna make us ALL dance to this message, and maybe we’ll start loving our own uncommon beauty, unique backgrounds and unusual tastes–our weird, wonderful, conflicted, contradictory selves–whoever we are, wherever we come from and however we’re made. We’ll go off, “go hard/get what’s [ours]” no matter what our haters say or do. That’s why there’s a church scene: because Bey just gave us all Gospel. Then she turns the “BlackLivesMatter” movement on its ear, with a little black boy dance battling a line of policemen–easily my favorite part of the video. Has she always been “woke,” i.e. totally self-aware and/or socially conscious? Have you? Is she here to speak for or even save the African-American experience or community? Are you?
Reflect on your own emotional, physical, social, financial, and spiritual evolution. Are you the same person you were fifteen years ago? I hope not. I am not even the same person I was a week before my last birthday! When you free yourself, you too will slay, swerve, serve, second line, toss sequins and twirl regardless of how other people respond–if they respond at all. You’ll do it on your own timeline. And you won’t need anyone’s permission. As for me, I’m headed to Red Lobster…and yes, I have hot sauce in my bag. Bye!
Images via Vogue and Hypable