In my feminist media studies class, we’ve moved into the topic of the representation of black women in the media and how mainstream feminism is essentially white feminism, and neglects to acknowledge women of color. Over the last few years however, Beyoncé has really been promoting feminist ideas in her work, becoming a strong feminist voice for women of color. She has always championed the strong and independent woman even back in her TLC days, but her feminist messages have recently become more explicit. This is most notable in her song Flawless, where she uses sound bytes of a speech from Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie, and also in her performance at the 2014 VMAs. However, she has been accused by other white feminists of being “tokenistic” and too hypersexual, which is incredibly problematic when you think of the history of black women being stereotyped as hyper-sexualized.
Clearly feminism is a very complex topic, especially in our post feminist age where some women see the feminists of today as self-objectifying. Are these Beyoncé critics make a valid point in saying that her feminist messages should not be so sexualized or is this stemming from subconscious stereotypes? Also, would these critics say the same thing about someone like Miley Cyrus who is known for promoting feminism in a similar manner?