Singer and activist Beyonce’s reign knows no end. She graces the cover of Time magazine for their ‘Most Influential People of 2014’ issue. Last year it was her husband Shawn Carter, aka Jay Z, who was on the cover. Perhaps Blue Ivy will be on the cover in 2015? We kid! But it’s kinda cool that she was named the most influential on a list which included 41 women against 59 men. Not bad odds, but here’s hoping it will swing a little more in the favor of women as the years go on.
Each person included on the list had a small blurb written about them by another famous person. In Beyonce’s case it is female business billionaire Sheryl Sandberg, who is also working with Queen Bey on the ‘Ban Bossy’ campaign.
“Beyoncé doesn’t just sit at the table. She builds a better one, ” writes Sheryl. “In December, she took the world by surprise when she released a new album, complete with videos, and announced it on Facebook and Instagram. Beyoncé shattered music-industry rules — and sales records.”
If you purchased the album via iTunes you would’ve already seen the videos which accompanied it. If not, don’t worry you too will be able to see them, just at different intervals.
Bey just released the music video for ‘Pretty Hurts’ which is almost like a short musical about the beauty industry and beauty pageants. She sings about unrealistic standards in society that women are taught to live up to.
Mama said, “You’re a pretty girl.
What’s in your head, it doesn’t matter
Brush your hair, fix your teeth.
What you wear is all that matters.
Blonder hair, flat chest
TV says, “Bigger is better.”
South beach, sugar free
Vogue says, “Thinner is better.”
It seems this video, along with her feminist statement ‘Flawless’ wasn’t just a fluke or created on a whim to appease the feminine masses. It is something Beyonce genuinely cares about: the equality of women with men, as you can see by her involvement with the Chime for Change charity. Along with her Time Magazine cover Beyonce also launched a new social movement to get us all talking and discussing beauty.
The movement is called ‘‘ and so far she is encouraging everyone to use the hashtag #whatispretty on your photos or videos uploaded to Instagram. So far the website only has a homepage, but no doubt there will be more coming.
Regardless of what Ms Carter has planned with this social movement, its an important conversation to have. How do we define “pretty” or “beautiful”? It is a clever ploy on one of the world’s more influential and famous people, because it is a movement that will put the power of definition back in the hands of everyday people and consumers, not industry experts who have a completely different agenda: sell, sell, sell.
So far she is certainly using her Most Influential Person of the Year title well, by influencing change in society. With so many messages about beauty out there it can be confusing. The truth is we all have different definitions and standards, and our opinions shouldn’t be homogenized by an industry looking to gain from our insecurities financially.