The world of feminist theory seems to be split on whether or not Beyonce's latest mark in the world of pop is either the greatest or smuttiest thing since Madonna made out with Brittany Spears for the sake of ratings. But the entire debate is isolated on her recent videos, when a more revealing stance would look at Beyonce (or any pop star for that matter) as a whole, not individual moments in their careers.
Does her dancing control her sexuality, taking it back from the male establishment, or is she eye candy?
I think a better question would be, can she be normal without feeling like less?
Beyonce dances and looks like a million bucks, and doing it certainly makes her money and keeps her personal brand value high. She is playing the game. In maintaining this image, in acting this way, Beyonce keeps her top spot as a symbol of sex, just as Lady Gaga is a symbol of weird. And in doing so she also remains the bar at which young women rate themselves. That's why they buy her perfume, do her dances on Youtube, buy her CD's, and keep posters of her (nearly naked) on their walls.
She is, in fact, playing into the hyper-sexualized, hyper-perfect, masculine fantasy culture that sets women (and men to a degree) up for failure; a tenth grader girl with acne, still growing into her body cannot (will most likely never) live up to the celluloid dream that is Beyonce.
And neither will Beyonce.
It's why celebrity mags like People and all the other tabloids exist in the first place. They thrive on catching the famous in their embarrassing, ugly normality. It's so hideous to us, seeing our visual gods so mortal. They are less than perfect. They have fat and acne, too. Look at that ugly sweater she is wearing to walk the dog. Ugh!
Despite the fact that it's normal, and that they really are as average as you and me, the Celebrity cannot own up to it. They do not buck the system, as Marlon Brando and Barbara Streisand did.
"I'm not twenty. Why should I pretend to be?"
"Am I not allowed to age?"
There is lay the difference. These two monsters of their time were fine with getting older. Old age was not a sin, but a joy. That is something that Beyonce and the other sex icons of our celebrity aristocracy cannot grasp, and until they do there will be no true feminism in modern teenie-bopper, make the money, super commercialized culture.
Because you are only as good as the boobs everyone is searching for on Google Images.
Because you're brand is not your skills or talent, it is you look, how long you can keep it, and how many types of makeup you can sell before your age shows through.