Oh Lawd. I know I'm stepping into boiling waters, as I dare to lend a critical eye to the woman referred to so many as Queen. Any unkind remark about Beyoncé leads to the dreaded response by her beloved fans of said criticizer being a hater, bitter, and unsupportive of a Black woman's hard work. Honestly, I can't knock the woman's hustle. She's worked relentlessly to get to where she's at today, and that tenacity deserves respect. That said, with all the accolades, awards, and constant adulation poured upon her, something seriously irked me as I saw the word FEMINIST emblazoned behind her in bright lights as she stood firmly on the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards. It just seemed…false. 

 It's hard to comprehend how repeating the words "Bow Down Bitches" equates to any kind of empowerment for females, when it's message is to congratulate the accomplishments of one single female. The cover art for the single is a picture of the young singer surrounded by trophies, the symbol of approval and accomplishment Beyoncé feels validates her position in the world. In contrast, I am reminded of Judy Chicago's The Dinner Table, a monumental 3-dimensional piece of performance art that places some of the greatest women voices together at a grand table of reverence. Would any of these women be so bold as to stand among the other seated women and implore them to bow down to her? I think not. 

 My understanding of a feminist is a person who stands for the elevation of the female voice regardless of their acceptance by anyone else. Beyoncé may have a few songs that speak to female empowerment, but their messages are negated by so many more of her songs that cry for acceptance by using sexuality as a bargaining tool. By allowing the recipient of her sexuality to assess her worthiness, she in fact loses all power and instead places the sexuality in the hands of her lover/audience/object of affection. She becomes a powerless object, and that is where the feminist meaning is completely lost. These flip-flopping messages destroy any chance of Beyoncé being taken seriously as a woman's voice for feminism. How is a young woman looking up to Beyoncé able to convert these convoluted messages of sexuality into a platform in which she can stand in power? 

  For every song like Pretty Hurts, there's 
Just tell me how it's looking babe… I do this all for you
 Take all of me I just wanna be the girl you like 
...Because the need for constant approval of your appearance by your lover somehow makes you empowered? 

For every Flawless, there's : 
 I'm in my penthouse half naked/I cooked this meal for you naked/So where the hell you at 
...Because waiting at home with a killer body and dinner ready, for a man who doesn’t seem to respect your time or company is real feminist, right? 

 Speaking of Flawless, in the remix, she braggadociously makes this statement twice: 
 Of course sometimes shit goes down when there's a billion dollars in a[n] elevator
 as if to say, in some twisted logic, that because she and her husband share an enormous amount of wealth, that violence may be a product of their relationship. Excuse me, but what part of feminism is that? Real feminists have a mutual respect of each other's differences and are able to meet their partners on a level of understanding that would not involve a physical altercation. I would hope that the financial situation of my partner and myself would not dissolve into the disturbing resolution we all saw on the tape.

 Look. I have no problem giving props where props are due. But Beyoncé above all else is a consummate entertainer first, a fair-weather feminist way, way after.

#VMAS2014 Highs

Posted by Tatiana | 7:38 AM | | 0 comments »

Beyonce is a marketing genius.

Last night's MTV Video Music Awards was like your aunt's potato salad at the family reunion. You settle in for the dish, take a bite, and notice that there's a little something missing. Even a dose of Beyonce couldn't add that missing spice back.

Kuddos to Bey for her Vanguard Award. 20 years of steady hustle can't be denied. 

Thanks to Common for encouraging us to remember the loss of our son Michael Brown.

I have to give props to Miley Cyrus for being mature and bringing the issue of homelessness to the screen.

That Saint Laurent dress is smoking hot, when the zipper works. Poor Nicki.

THE MODELS looking their best, as usual.

And my favorite look of the night, featuring Iggy Azalea.

More pics on the Facebook Page.

The new target-designer collaboration with Altuzarra hits stores and the web on September 14.  here are my faves:
Belt, $30

Shirt, $35

Over the knee boot, $80

Green and Black Trench, $80

Bird embellished dress, $50

You can see the entire collection on Racked.

Our son, Michael Brown

The riots of Ferguson, Missouri as a result of the murder of unarmed teen Michael Brown at the hands of a cop, are as disturbing as the incident itself. As a black mother, I worry for my future sons, and the sons of others whose innocent lives may be lost at the hands of an organization that is supposed to protect the greater good. Michael Brown, is our son, and I am heartened to hear of mothers across the nation speak out about this tragedy. My heart and condolences go out to the Brown family.

The National Guard is brought in to quell violence in Ferguson

What is sad (but not shocking) to me, is the noted silence among a greater part of America, specifically the white, conservative demographic, over the atrocity that has clearly been seen on videotape. It is obvious that black men are systematically selected for criminal justice, yet a part of the population continues to turn a blind eye. How does a white person answer to that inconvenient truth? One white mom spoke up:
To admit white privilege is to admit a stake, however small, in ongoing injustice. It’s to see a world different than your previous perception. Acknowledging that your own group enjoys social and economic benefits of systemic racism is frightening and uncomfortable. It leads to hard questions of conscience may of us aren’t prepared to face.
We want to claim we have progressed as a nation, but the fundamental ills have been conveniently swept under a rug as we sing a proverbial 'Kumbaya' in the age of political correctness. What will it take to get us all to take a honest look at ourselves and our views in a cold, unforgiving mirror?

Maybe this is the mission of a nation's mothers.

Balmin just got an extra shot of fierceness: Legendary models Iman and Naomi Campbell pose next to CFDA Fashion Icon Rihanna for the Fall 2014 Balmain campaign.

In more style news, Rihanna continues to slay in an eskimo-themed photo shoot for W Magazine. Indulge.

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