Like most women who listen to Beyoncé, she had all ears perked with her snippets posted on her social media page about Lemonade. Once it dropped, every social media outlet has been spouting catchy lyrics all over their feeds. As a black women, Lemonade makes me feel like I’m part of this elite club, where ‘Beckys’ aren’t allowed. Beyoncé’s latest visual album is dedicated to black women and girls everywhere, it’s celebrates black beauty and acknowledges the struggles black women face every day.
Rewinding a few weeks prior to Lemonade dropping, I purchased Glamour magazine’s May issue, solely for Emilia Clarke, Daenerys Targaryen for all of my Game of Throne watchers, is on the cover. Sidebar: I have a newfound obsession with Emilia Clarke since seeing her on Jimmy Fallon; she’s beyond adorable.
As I’m flipping the pages, loaded with major advertisement ads, a repeating image is blatantly obvious; smiling white women. It was so apparent I had to count how many times I saw a white women vs a black women; my observations equated to 70% white women to 30% black women.
As a black woman and avid magazine reader, I felt instantly defeated. How much longer will we, black women, continue to be underrepresented?
What I love about Beyonce’s latest album, is the striking and poignant visuals of black beauty. Black beauty in all shape, colors, and sizes. Finally, I felt seen, represented, and beautiful.
Both writers Bene Viera and Blue Telusma, unpack eloquently the deep meanings of Bey’s ‘Lemonade.’ Sighting it as a love letter to black women.
As a black women, I have found myself questioning my attractiveness and self-worth when surrounded by the overly praised ‘Beckys’ of the world. When will it end?
Shame on you Glamour for reminding me once again that I’m not attractive or worthy enough to have equal amount of features in your magazine. Now, let me be clear in saying that I am not trying to bash Glamour, but I do think maybe they need more diversity when it comes to their decision makers. Representation matters, when there’s a majority of one type of person being featured constantly, it does nothing to help expand the reader’s point of view.
Lack of representation in advertisements perpetuates the mentality that what is being advertised is what’s marketable and preferred. It helps to foster the image of self-hate, especially amongst young girls who already feel awkward and don’t fit in due to the struggles of being teens.
All in all, we need more women like Qimmah Saafir, editor-in-chief of Hannah magazine who’s magazine will market directly to women of color, specifically black women. Regardless of what side of the fence you fall on in regards to Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ album, it promoted black beauty and showcased black womanhood. Maybe next month Glamour will do more product placement or articles that showcase some of the amazingly talented and inspiring young black women featured in Bey’s latest visual album.
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