From “Bow Down” to “Flawless”

Almost a year ago, I penned an open letter to Beyonce stating I didn’t appreciate her song “Bow Down”.  At that particular stage in her career, she didn’t really need to address her haters.  And I was not the only person to think that way.

Nine months later, with the release of her album “Beyonce”, “Bow Down” became “Flawless”, an empowering girls’ anthem featuring the TED talk of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  The song encouraged feminism and challenged women to fight for their equality.  And it was catchy, as evidenced by women posting selfies on Instagram with the hashtags #flawless and #iwokeuplikethis, and everyone seemed to have forgotten the uproar the first verse caused just months earlier.

As I was driving home last night and belting out the lyrics to “Flawless”, it dawned on me that I was singing lyrics to a song I didn’t care for and words I don’t like to use.  And I began to wonder what happened.  What happened to make me forget the disdain I felt last March when I heard “Bow Down”?  What happened to make me sing along with a woman who called other women b*tches and told them to bow down, like she was a queen?  What happened to make me just…forget EVERYTHING I didn’t like about the song?  Hearing the song in its entirety may have changed my perspective.  Hearing “Flawless”, with the nostalgia of Gyrls’ Tyme (which later became Destiny’s Child), the empowering words of Ms. Adichie, and the tight beat, made me develop convenient amnesia.

Beyonce changed the entire meaning of a song with an extra verse, a hook, and a TED talk from a renowned author and feminist.  And now we want to give Beyonce a crown, no pun intended, because she MUST be about the equality of women and wants us to be empowered and assertive and go-getters.  But would a real feminist tell another woman to bow down?

Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

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