#FLAWLESS: the Yonce-fication of America

Flawlessness courtesy of Beyonce.

Flawlessness courtesy of Beyonce.

Editor’s Note: We like to keep profanity, violence, and misogyny to a minimum at Progressive Pupil, but ‘Yonce said some things that need address. There is some strong language to follow. 

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller

We say to girls “You can have ambition, but not too much

You should aim to be successful, but not too successful

Otherwise you will threaten the man”

 

These powerful words from feminist and author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie have become an anthem for women’s liberation and empowerment in Beyonce’s song Flawless. The I woke up like this anthem started a short-lived craze of women posting selfies in online forums like tumblr as a showing of self-love. These women appear to feel empowered by the pride, inspiration and permission Beyonce has given them to be themselves. This selfie phenomenon would have more clout if Beyonce’s pictures were less than perfect – we see enough images in the media of unattainably perfect looking women.

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Transitioning Our Mindset

Released in 2009, Chris Rock’s documentary Good Hair explores the politics and money behind the Black hair care industry.

This past summer the New York Times featured an op-doc by Zina Saro-Wiwa entitled “Transition.” Her six-minute documentary highlights her personal transition from braids to natural over the course of a seven-month period. Showcasing a movement among Black women who embrace their natural hair instead of using chemical straighteners, she discusses the politics of hair and gender. While watching this documentary, I identified with every minute of her experience. I have had natural hair for the past two years but Saro-Wiwa’s piece caused me to think about hair as an expression mental health among Black women.

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