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May 24, 2013

Is Beyonce Sending (More) Mixed Messages with Her Ms. Magazine Cover?

Ms. Magazine Beyonce Cover ControversyBeyonce is no stranger to controversy, and her latest magazine cover appearance touting her as a feminist is stirring it up again. Many are expressing outrage over the claim.

When you practically reside in the headlines like Beyonce does, controversy is bound to come calling. Just this year, the singer has gotten tongues wagging over her National Anthem performance at the inauguration—and all the did-she-or-didn’t-she questions about lip-synching. (Which she admitted she did.)

Then there was the Super Bowl, where the majority of folks agreed she erased any doubts about her ability to sing live. But, wait, there were the demands from her team that various websites remove the not-so-flattering stills from the Internet. (They’re still out there.)

Then there was the trip to Cuba with hubby, Jay-Z, and the latest news that she’s going to be a mom again. Plus, she’s graced the cover of plenty of magazines, one even with the title of “Hottest Woman of the 21st Century.” So what now?

As the cover girl for Ms. Magazine’s Spring 2013 issue, Beyonce has become a lightning rod for that all-too-familiar criticism yet again. For starters, she’s a pretty obvious departure from the feminist publication’s usual cover subjects—leading some to cry foul on the move as merely a means to generate more newsstand sales.

But, as you might imagine, the debate goes beyond just that. Many, based on comments the magazine has received on its Facebook page, take issue with the fact that Beyonce calls herself a feminist and is being heralded as such by Ms. Magazine.

The reason? Beyonce is a dichotomy of messages about women. As Ms. blogger Janell Hobson pointed out, the girl power of “Independent Women” or “I’m a Survivor” gets a little watered down with the subservient lyrics of “Cater 2 U.”

The outcry over Beyonce as feminist extends to her fashion sense. Just Google “Beyonce magazine covers” and you’ll find very few of the songstress where she isn’t baring her midriff or wearing some leg-baring number or something lingerie/swimsuit-inspired.

In light of these looks, those vocal commenters decry any sort of mention of Beyonce and feminist in the same sentence. They feel that she’s dressing provocatively to get the attention of men or selling out for the almighty dollar.

More level-headed commenters pointed out, “It’s just clothes.” Meaning you can’t tell a feminist by her wardrobe.

What do you think? Is Beyonce sending (more) mixed messages with her Ms. Magazine cover?

 



About the Author

Michelle Ryan
Michelle Ryan
Michelle Ryan is obsessed with good food, great shoes and Alabama football way down South in Savannah, Georgia. She hasn’t met a kitchen gadget she hasn’t at least thought about buying (trying them is another story) and devotes her time to Bikram Yoga, baking and trying to overcome long-held finicky eating habits.