Thursday, 6 February 2014

2014 Grammys

I've recently been witnessing a lot of hate directed towards Beyonce regarding her outfit at the 2014 Grammys. Yes, it was revealing. Yes, her dancing was provocative. Is this anything new? Nope. Since the 1920s there have been cabaret clubs full of cancan dancers flashing their knickers, and circus acrobats contorting themselves whilst wearing tight and revealing leotards. You could spend an evening at the ballet and there would be plenty of bodies just as bare.

Photos via circa 1930

As for the dancing, she is a performer. It's what's expected; to put on a show. It might seem racy but it's the kind of dancing that fits with the music she makes. It would simply look out of place if her and Jay Z were to salsa dance or break out into a hand jive. And is this really so different to the ladies from Bucks Fizz having their skirts ripped off mid-song in 1981? People have claimed that Beyonce's performance was inappropriate due to the Grammys being a family show, but last time I checked Eurovision was too.

The Bucks Fizz skirt rip
photo vie

 Beyonce at the Grammys
Picture via

Liza Minnelli in Cabaret (1972)

Most of the complaints have been focused on the fact that there were children watching at home and her performance was too sexual for their young eyes. I have a message for you; young children don't notice sexuality, it's not something they become aware of until they get older, it simply goes over their heads. I can promise that the majority of young children won't see much difference between Beyonce's Grammy outfit and a swimming costume, but you wouldn't refuse to take your children swimming because of the "revealing outfits". Of course you might be uncomfortable watching her performance with your children in the room, but they probably won't even notice, and you're the one that's uncomfortable, not them.

It's a common opinion that women dressing provocatively  is "anti-feminist", and some particularly harsh criticisms have even attacked Beyonce as a mother, calling her a bad role model for her daughter. I'm pretty sure Beyonce wore stage outfits like that and danced during her performances before she was a mother too, and changing everything about herself as a performer and not continuing to follow her career after having a child doesn't sound very feminist to me. Of course Beyonce's daughter is still too young to be aware of any of this, but when she's older and sees this and similar performances, I imagine she'll feel one of two things. Firstly, she may feel proud of her mother for being so successful in her career, and secondly, she may feel embarrassed by her mother's clothing choices and dancing. Isn't being embarrassed of your parents a perfectly normal thing for a child to go through? Particularly upon seeing pictures of what they wore many years ago, or witnessing them dance.

There have also been comments about how she and Jay Z interacted on stage, slating the fact that they were dancing so closely and that they kissed during the performance claiming that this is also a bad example for our children. If a married couple who are very much in love showing affection towards each other is a bad example to set then I'm not quite sure what a good one would be. It feels like some people are just searching for a reason to pick fault, however flimsy.

Beyonce and Jay Z at the Grammys
Photo via

As a brief disclaimer I should add that I am not a "fan" of Beyonce, in fact I would probably struggle to name more than about four of her songs;  this was purely written as a response to criticisms which seemed to be quite unfair. And for those of you interested, the body suit that she wore for the performance was by the very talented Nichole de Carle London.

No comments:

Post a Comment