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Fierce! May 10, 2010

Posted by Skippy in Observations, Popular Culture.
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Y’all, I’m not a rabid Beyonce’ fan. I’ve probably referred to her as a “low-rent Diana Ross” or “that chick whose stage daddy screwed over those other chicks in Destiny’s Child.” Her acting is notably horrible–I call her go-to acting voice “afflicted Southern pancake waitress.” Seriously–Netflix “Obsessed” and tell me why Beyonce’ sounds like she’s getting ready to serve up an order of catfish and hush puppies.

As much as I love to make fun of Beyonce’, I can’t deny this one thing: she knows how to put out a song that will make you jump up and shake. your. ASS.

Exhibit A

And then there’s this:

This song is an extra track from “I Am…Sasha Fierce,” an album she released last year. And wasn’t Beyonce’ supposed to be taking 2010 off? But here we are, with a leaked clip of the video and now the full version. And children, this video is fierce. I love how this video is a re-presentation of the burdens women bear via exaggerations of the 40s/50s pinup era and the image of the “happy homemaker.”

I think the blog Jezebel put it better:

At times, in the video, Beyoncé acts victimized and distraught; she weeps on the phone while sipping a martini. But other moments and scenes are accompanied with a knowing wink; she dusts her Grammys and wiggles her ass and doesn’t seem concerned in the least that some unseen love interest isn’t sharing his affections.

While using a retro concept for the clip could be just a style choice, it does force you to think about a different era, one less about “all the ladies who are independent, throw your hands up at me” and more about disenfranchised, frustrated and lonely housewives, a la Betty Draper.

Framing a woman trying so hard — cooking, cleaning, wearing lingerie and still not feeling loved — with all the props of a bygone era is fun. But it also acknowledges the struggles women have overcome (and the battles still waged). And maybe even suggests that the concept of thinking this way — “why don’t you love me?” — is old fashioned.

More than anything, the song — and the video — gets better when BB sings “there’s nothing not to love about me,” as more of a statement, instead of a plea.

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