Monday, February 04, 2013

Halftime at the Superbowl & Marriage: It's Okay To Want More

Last week, amidst the drama of the whole "Did Beyonce lip-sync?" kerfluffle, I followed two links that intrigued me: one was an article about how this was only a problem because Beyonce's "brand" is perfection, so anything less--like missing a note or being caught in a sing along--would be off-message (I can't find the link this morning - I'll post it when I do); the second was a clip from the video from her solo hit, Crazy In Love, co-starring her future husband, Jay-Z.

I'll confess, the "perfection is her brand" article made me envious.  I don't struggle with perfectionism, but I'm easily swept up in the dream that if somehow I can convince everyone else I've got it all together, that will magically translate and become my daily reality. We all know that life never works this way, of course, no matter how many people we employ to push the illusion.  But would be nice :) 

The video just made me sad.  I was struck by the weirdness of this gorgeous, gifted singer...writhing on a loading dock.  I guess you could say she was doing it perfectly - her clothes, hair, etc. were fab. (She looked WAY better on her loading dock than most of us would). But she also looked like a hooked fish, gasping for air.  I'm not against loading docks as scenes of artistic expression, per se.  But this was so bizarre, like she was some sort of product that had been abandoned by the last user and was waiting to be picked up again. I don't think that's her story.  And on top of that, it bummed me out that her future husband was right there in the middle of so many scenes for this video, not speaking up or suggesting something a little less...awful.  

Ladies, I have it on good authority that we don't have to flail on loading docks in order to be loved.

I had similar thoughts last night when I saw the Super Bowl halftime show.  I'm a huge Janet Jackson fan, so I'm no prude. And I have much respect for performers who are willing to tackle complicated choreography in a live show.  But this choreography (and the costuming) was straight porn.  It was perfect, in keeping with Beyonce's brand.  But unnecessary.  I felt sad for her that her husband sent her to work that day knowing she'd be putting on a porn show for the world, and was okay with that.  I don't think it's too much to hope for to have a man who will step in and say, in a loving, supportive way, "Honey - you don't have to do all that on a stage to get people's attention. How about you save those moves for me?"

I'm not really one to rail against the decline of culture.  I guess I just wanted to be a voice saying that it's okay to for the rest of us to want something better: To pray for a husband who will want you to keep your lingerie and your hip rolls within the private world you create together, no matter how much they might be worth on the open market.  And who will recognize what your REAL talent is (for Beyonce, clearly it's her beauty, her voice, and her ability to seem perfect) and help you trust that that is enough to keep the world's attention...or risk the loss with you if it isn't.


heidikins said...

Yes. This. I realize I am probably a little more conservative and a lot more feminist (yes, you can be both) than the average person, but lawsy, Beyonce was terrible. I mean, she sounded fine, the Destiny's Child trio surprise was fine, but could they please wear pants next time? Could ANYONE wear pants?



hes said...

I guess I have to disagree, but I'm confused as to why I do. Maybe it's because I really like her and her music, maybe it's because I see way more skin all the time, and I find her relatively toned down (which isn't exactly a good thing, but that's my reference point), I don't actually know. Is it wrong to say that I found her performance and attire entirely appropriate and not once did I think, "I wish she put more clothes on" or "I'm sad she thinks she has to dress that way". I thought she looked confident and having a great time and made me want to amp up my workouts, not because she looked hot (which she did), but because it takes a lot of strength and confidence to dance that hard, that long, and sing all at the same time. Crazy? :)

Rachael said...

The half-time show had me thinking how nice it would have been to have a stage and a microphone and Beyonce in some fabulous dress JUST SINGING TO US. Fine, have Destiny's Child come out in fabulous gowns as well and join her in a song - but why all the money on all the pyrotechnics and dancers and chaos when really, I just wanted to hear her sing! Yes, she is STUNNING, so let me admire her beauty in some stunning gown we can all over-analyze. To a certain extent I don't care about what she wore, especially if she truly likes them and feels powerful and in control when showing off her figure. That said - if anyone was wearing that walking down the street, we wouldn't be wondering what fabulous event she was going to (as we would when seeing someone in a gown), we would likely think she was some type of sex worker. Anyway, I would love it if the millions spent on the half-time show actually went to help hungry and homeless people in the city hosting the SuperBowl and the half-time show could be some great singer singing for us without all the glitz.