2 min read
Posted on 05.18.16
  • 2 min read
  • Posted on 05.18.16
  • Filed under
  • Slay
  • Beyonce

On September 10, 2016, the queen of pop will be coming to St. Louis as part of her Formation World Tour. Twenty-somethings and older will remember Beyoncé breaking onto the national scene in late twentieth century with the all-female group Destiny's Child. Songs like "Bills, Bills, Bills," "Survivor," and "Jumpin'" showcased women who said what they wanted to say, how they wanted to say it, to the person who they wanted to say it to. Unapologetically independent women everywhere had found a new soundtrack.

While the group dissolved, Beyoncé remained front and center. Her lyrics have stayed fiercely feminist, addressing power dynamics and cultural norms in a way that her contemporaries shy away from. She explained, saying, "We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead." The music video for the song "If I Were a Boy" (2009) tells the story of a couple's crumbling relationship by swapping the traditional gender roles to portray the different standards to which the sexes are held. In the same album, she sings about breaking up with an unfaithful partner, shattering the usual victim role by belting out a power ballad reminding him that not only is he replaceable, but he can't keep the car she gave him. She didn't stop there. With "Who Run the World" (2011), Beyoncé gave voice to a generation of women who are not only told they can take over the world, but who are actually doing it. Followers of the "Lean In" movement rejoiced with the snarky lyric, "I hope you still like me... F you, pay me."

Catchy and timeless, her songs inspire. She took this talent into politics to bolster Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative, creating a song and dance moves that get kids up and moving. In fact, the St. Louis City Health Department has incorporated this song and the associated dance moves into its programming to help kids embrace movement and physical activity through dance. Her charitable contributions include the self-started "Survivor Fund," which helped victims of Hurricane Katrina, Oxfam, and dozens more.

Beyonce is a cultural icon. She has survived nearly 20 years of being in the spotlight, cultivating a following that spans generations, gender, and ethnicity. Soon, she will bring her tour to St. Louis. And, if one thing is true, she's going to slay.