Okay, I’m a bit late to the party – but, I just rewatched Beyoncé’s Homecoming special on Netflix and despite still loving it the second time around, there is still one part that continues to bother me.
 
Watching the special, I got super pumped at basically every song she played, swooning over the incredible artistry and choreography (especially for Partition/Yoncé 😍), reminiscing on the days of teaching pole and using Diva as my warm up song (my studio was called Pole Divas so it felt v appropriate). I lost my shit when Mi Gente came on – I hadn’t expected her to include her latin collab with J Balvin and almost fell off my chair 😆
 
All this, yet I still felt somewhat disappointed by ol’ Bey. 
 
There’s one part of the special in which she talks about having to work out like crazy, limiting her food intake and feeling hungry and faint – all just to fit in to some old costumes.
 
Working with women for years, I know just how damaging that small comment could be to the self-esteem and body image of young girls, teens and women everywhere. So many people look up to Beyoncé, and while her talent and artistry is second to none – I feel it was irresponsible and quite frankly, unnecessary, for her to include comments about her weight in the final feature. 
 
Beyoncé undoubtedly would have still put on an INCREDIBLE performance if her costume had slightly different measurements. And there’s no way that it wouldn’t be possible to simply alter, recreate or make new costumes according to her current measurements since the remarkable accomplishment that is having children.
 
Of course, I understand that to pull off that high energy performance, she has to be very physically fit. But she spoke directly about ‘fitting in to’ a certain costume. She spoke about what she was restricting from her diet and that she was hungry. I feel this is dangerous language to use. If you’re working and rehearsing for hours on end, for a solid 4 months no less – you need to be adequately nourishing and fuelling your body!
 
If Beyoncé, of all people, is starving herself for a performance that is ultimately about her talent and not her size – what message is that sending to the rest of us? That the success of her Homecoming performance relied on the size of her waist? I don’t believe that could be true.
 
In a culture that is so obsessed with thinness and ensuring that women, in particular, “fit into” a specific, socially acceptable size category – we need to do better. 
 
I believe that celebrities have a moral duty of care to their audience. No, they don’t have to be perfect – there is already far too much pressure on them to be so – but, I do think it’s important they consider the impact of their words. 
 
People are impressionable – just look at how many women are suddenly getting lip fillers since the Kardashians popularised it. It’s not a coincidence. Whether we like it or not – whether we admit it or not – what celebrities do and say does affect many people out there. I hate to think how many young girls watched Beyoncé describe her diet in Homecoming and decided to follow suit the next day.
 
I want to live in a world where women – people – are celebrated for their talent, their artistry, their kindness, their intellect and so much more over their size. The size on your clothing label doesn’t tell me anything about your character. Let’s stop pretending it matters.
 
What do you think?

Let me know your thoughts!

1 Comment

  1. Kat Colling

    It’s funny you picked up on this as a bad thing… at the time I actually really appreciated her honesty. I saw it as her opening up on the unreal standards in the industry – the way women are expected to look – and how impossible it is to achieve and maintain (particularly without a whole team, shedloads of money and all the time to focus on it). We all know the ridiculous pressure on how we look – and I certainly ain’t Yoncè! 😉

    Your article has made me think about it in a different way though. When I look at that versus any single Lizzo Instagram video, I can certainly see how a reframing would be helpful, especially to young girls who hear that ‘its ok/normal/expected to go without’.

    Keep up your great work Eleanor!

    Reply

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hi, I’m Eleanor

It is my mission to redefine modern day sensuality and what it means to be a sensual being.

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