Sunday, May 22, 2011

Beyonce: Put Those Knees Together, Please

    Hey Girl: You’re getting a very great honor tonight at the Billboard extravaganza. The Millennium Award -- that is so cool!
   You really, really deserve it. Kind of.
    Your fellow singing sensation, Shakira, recorded a tune a while back called “Hips Don’t Lie.”
    Your hips do.
    Your hips say you are a hypersexualized slut.
    Your hips are lying. Why don’t you stop them?
    I don’t think there has been any woman in pop music over the past 10 years who is as beautiful and talented as you.
    I have seen you interviewed several times, and you were warm, candid, modest, and gracious. You were poised. You were elegant and dignified. You gently demurred when you were asked questions that invaded your privacy.
    You were  a true lady.
    So why do you portray yourself as a horny freak when you’re onstage?
    If your answer is, "Everybody does it," I disagree. Not everyone does. But even if they did, that wouldn't be an honorable excuse, and you know it.


    I have seen  documentary footage of you putting together one of your shows. You proved yourself to be so smart -- an incredibly hard-working professional who oversees every aspect of your elaborate productions. You were a perfectionist. You collaborated so patiently with your employees, treating them with great respect, as peers. Despite pressures, problems and setbacks, you kept your cool and kept on working, until you got it right. You were as adorable in sweatpants, with your hair pulled back and no makeup, as you are when you’re all glammed up.
    So when the curtain finally rises, what is the rationale for all the hip-thrusting gyrations, the lurid, stripper-inspired squatting, the on-your-knees with ass-in-the-air moves, the on-your-back with legs-in-the-air moves, the clutching of your hands all over your body, as if you can’t wait to get offstage and screw the hell out of the first man you see? Why are you licking your fingers, and not-at-all-subtly swiping them over your pubic area? Why are you looking at the camera and the audience with darkly sultry hunger, broadcasting your readiness for some real bad-girl action? Any way you want it, let’s just do it  -- that seems to be your message.
    Even in your TV commercial -- I think it was for a telephone service company! -- you were on the floor writhing with carnal desperation. Shit, Beyonce -- what is wrong with you?
    Perhaps there are some women in the business who have so little talent, they have to resort to this kind of garbage to get any attention.
    You don’t. You are gorgeous, and so is your voice. That’s all you need. If you want to throw in some dancing, no problem. You know how to dance without turning it into simulated intercourse.
    There's nothing wrong with being playful and flirty, or even sexy. But you take it way beyond that. You are down and dirty. You are plain obscene.
    One of Usher's songs contains the line: "I want a lady on the street and a freak in the bed."
    If you really do have a streak of "freak" in you, why don't you save it for bedtime, and be a lady on the stage?
    What makes this whole thing so ironic and so important is that most of your fans are girls. In your latest video, you proclaim: "Who runs the world? Girls!"
    You are a role model, and you are literally screwing it up. Why don’t you show these young ladies your real self when you’re performing? They won’t miss your porn-queen fa├žade at all. They will be inspired to carry themselves with the dignity and modesty that are the real you.
    There are some people in public life, athletes in particular, who have declared that they have no obligation to serve as a role model. I think you must know that you're a role model, but apparently you haven't given it  enough thought. You know very well how 'popular culture' is messing up our kids. You should be providing an alternative rather than fanning the sick, sordid flames.
    I saw a video of you last night doing a remix of your song “Hero.” It was simple, tender and poignant. You were so lovely.
    When you stood in the spotlight to sing “At Last,” while President Obama and his wife danced during the inauguration celebrations, I cried. I bet millions of people did. It was a beautiful, unforgettable moment.
    You were magnificent. Your love and your joy were pouring out.
    Your hips were still. They weren’t lying.