Beyonce & The Shifted Female Perspective

We all know about the two major categories of female sexuality in the entertainment business that have become easy descriptions for us to pin to female entertainers. There’s the woman who is all natural, with Erykah Badu & India Arie vibes, and sings or raps about being herself. Then there’s the woman who is hyper-sexualized, with Rihanna vibes, and is half-naked or a sexual icon in public majority of the time. These two different categories have confined female entertainers for a long time to get in where they fit in. We have seen Jennifer Hudson lose weight and now try her best to maintain a sexy image and attempt to appeal to more men. We have seen the innocent Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez shed their good girl image in attempts to seem more sexual and in touch with those fans who generally love Rihanna. In other words, for about 4-5 years back-to-back, you either liked Beyonce or Rihanna.

However, one female artist recently changed the game and completely confused the two categories we’re accustomed to labeling with when she went left with her branding and her image. We’re not her beyhive stans and we don’t worship her, but we now see the importance of what her most recent branding achieved. Don’t get confused though – Beyonce Knowles has always been sexual and if you look at most of her Destiny’s Child photos, she was likely the one in the two-piece and exposed more than Michelle. So what did Beyonce do most recently to create an alternative category at this point in her career that would influence social perspectives on female sexuality in the entertainment industry? She took the hyper-sexualized image that Rihanna is known for and pretended to unveil it and expose herself. No crazy nude photos, sextape, or ex-boyfriend writing a tell-all book. Beyonce exposed her own sexuality, which gave her complete control of the margins that the public normally uses to stigmatize female entertainers.

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She unexpectedly dropped her album, which many pinned as a genius marketing move; however, we saw this instead as a direct connection to her choice to reveal her sexuality unexpectedly. When Rihanna released Good Girl Gone Bad, the title and promotion related to her intentions to shed her good girl island image. However, when Beyonce unexpectedly dropped BEYONCE, she was releasing any box that would’ve been placed upon her sexual limits and boundaries. She accumulated a good image for countless years in order to shatter it and most importantly gain the control to shatter it. Songs and imagery for “Partition”, “Drunk In Love”, and more are all just as nasty and sexual as Rihanna’s lyrics and videos; however, Rihanna’s sexuality is not a surprise anymore and consumers are accustomed to it. Furthermore, her relationships haven’t been much of a mystery whereas most were not able to even guess if Beyonce and Jay-Z had a sexual relationship until Blue was born.

So you’re wondering where do we arrive in regards to the plain breakdown of how Beyonce’s recent branding has shifted your entertainment paradigm for women.  In plain terms, Beyonce merged the good and the bad by separating the two for long enough so we could sub-consciously absorb both sides of who she is.  Not all women are one OR the other. Some experience a duality of wanting to spend a quiet night at home with a few candles and Girl Boss – and then, the next night they want to go out to the bars and drink cognac with the boys and score a few numbers (or maybe score in general). Thanks to Beyonce’s mega-platform in the music industry and this suddenly revealed sexuality that is both free and controlled, we have a third category that is accepted in the female entertainment industry – Respected Hyper-Sexuality (in plain terms…a horny woman who is respected as much as the horny man is).

REHAB Staff

Rehab Online Magazine is the alternative millennial guide to emerging music and culture.