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The First Lady of Hip Hop
February 5, 2013 10:59 AM   Subscribe

There was no way to anticipate that the reliably malfunction-free Beyoncé arriving in New Orleans for her turn at immortality would be a vulnerable one. At the presidential inauguration ceremony last month, she sang the national anthem over a prerecorded vocal track, leading to a minor scandal, putting her on the defensive. Beyoncé, bionic, isn’t used to having her reputation impugned. Vulnerability is not her bag. She is, though, up to the challenge — in this case, the conundrum of how to make her Super Bowl XLVII halftime show, which she had been planning for months, not only a spectacle in its own right, but also a conclusion to the messy affair.

Having Beyoncé perform the halftime show finally removed the fear of the present from that gig. It's true that a mini–Destiny's Child reunion is a turning back of the clock, but not a desperate and not an FCC-mandated one, either. This is what you get when you forgo nostalgia. It's a show Janet Jackson could have done in 1990 and Madonna in 1993 (Madonna in 2012 is actually "Madonna"). The excitement of having Beyoncé perform was that it's the most "now" the show has been without culminating in the train wrecks of what's hot, like 2001's collision of the contemporary and the ancient. ('N Sync, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Aerosmith: That actually happened.)
posted by DynamiteToast (67 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
She didn't silence all her critics. But still, I loved the performance. I mean, who is the moron that put this together...
posted by phaedon at 11:10 AM on February 5, 2013


I am overjoyed by the fact that the Beyonce concert overshadowed the Super Bowl.

But...I think it is kind of ridiculous to look at her AMAZING performance (even I looked away from Path of Exile to watch this thing) as the salve America needed to soothe the burns inflicted on us from constant mediocrity. C'mon Grantland!
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 11:10 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not knowing who was scheduled, I kept watching the half time show waiting for the nostalgia act to come out, but it never happened.
Interesting considering the usually very mid-american vibe/demographic the halftime show aims for.

Was it successful? Well, she had a lot of energy, seemed to be genuinely enjoying herself and the stage was pretty cool, so what more can you expect from a halftime show?

(I suppose Destiny's Child is nostalgia for fans of Beyonce?)
posted by madajb at 11:11 AM on February 5, 2013


Prince > Beyonce.
posted by nathancaswell at 11:13 AM on February 5, 2013 [15 favorites]


Most everyone seems to have loved it, so I guess I missed something. It seemed good, but workmanlike to me. Nothing I'm going to remember for any length of time.

Also, Destiny's Child didn't do "Jumpin' Jumpin'" or "Say My Name" so that part was obviously a failure.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:14 AM on February 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


Prince > Beyonce.

What was the point of making this comment? It's like

breathing > not breathing.
posted by duvatney at 11:16 AM on February 5, 2013 [9 favorites]


Prince > Beyonce.

To be fair, though, Prince > Pretty much all human life.
posted by selfnoise at 11:16 AM on February 5, 2013 [14 favorites]


I'm not a fan of Beyonce or Destiny's Child but even I knew that "Single Ladies" is a Beyonce solo number.
posted by tommasz at 11:17 AM on February 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hey, remember when Michelle was pretending like she wasn't going to be there because she had a prior engagement? I don't know if she didn't get the memo that the DC3 reunion wasn't secret any more or what but no one anywhere believed for a second that she wouldn't be there. When you're summoned by the Queen, you friggin' show up.
posted by mhum at 11:18 AM on February 5, 2013


The whole halftime show had such high production values and video quality that it seemed to me more like a music video than a live performance.
posted by brain_drain at 11:18 AM on February 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


What was the point of making this comment?

In my opinion, Prince's Superbowl halftime show was better than Beyonce's despite being him being a "nostalgic" act.
posted by nathancaswell at 11:19 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


The power of this show was in the strength not of its femininity (there was nothing simply feminine about it) but in the power of its womanliness. She performs with an all-female band to whom she kept calling your attention. Her backup singers were a quartet of buxomness.

3 of the 5 women at the gathering I was attending were vocally pissed about the lack of sexy male dancers. They did love the Calvin Klein 'concept' commercial though.

Otherwise, the Beyoncé show was very professionally done, but boring in the sense that it was her going through the usual schtick in pop hiphop/r&b. It was another beautiful woman (but this one with exceptional talent), ass jittering in a crowd of other beautiful, ass jittering women. Not an unpleasant sight, but not exactly a striking piece of entertainment.

To paraphrase a Lincoln quote: for those who like that sort of thing, this is something they'll like.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:19 AM on February 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


What was the point of making this comment?

In my opinion, Prince's Superbowl halftime show was better than Beyonce's despite being him being a "nostalgic" act.


Sorry, what I was trying to say was "I agree with you so much I can't imagine anyone else not agreeing with you, ever."
posted by duvatney at 11:21 AM on February 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


It didn't seem much different from any other Beyonce performance to me, but as Super Bowl halftime shows go it was better than most.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:21 AM on February 5, 2013


Janet Jackson writhing around in a pile of screenshots trying to scream "NIP SLIP!!!!" but no sound comes out.
posted by acidic at 11:21 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


as Super Bowl halftime shows go it was better than most

They were still doing college marching bands in 1990. Most appearances by a single artist: Up With People Singers (5). So, yeah, the bar is low.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:23 AM on February 5, 2013


To paraphrase a Lincoln quote: for those who like that sort of thing, this will is something they'll like.

Absolutely true. I still wouldn't know a Beyonce song (or a Destiny's Child song) if it jumped up and bit me on the ass, but I enjoyed watching that young lady dance around and sing. Can't remember anything about any of the songs now, though.
posted by Curious Artificer at 11:23 AM on February 5, 2013


Beyonce is the First Lady of Hip Hop? I don't recall her marrying Eminem.
*ducks*
posted by 1adam12 at 11:24 AM on February 5, 2013


I agree it's past due to see the creaky old Superbowl halftime show pay homage to the existence of the past decade, but also concur with the minority who found it competent if uninspired. I think part of it for me was that "Halo" was a weird down-energy note to wrap things up on - I probably would have felt differently if she'd done "Halo" second to last and saved "Crazy in Love" for the big close.

Also, Destiny's Child didn't do "Jumpin' Jumpin'" or "Say My Name" so that part was obviously a failure.

Or at least some "Survivor." Throw babygirl here a bone, damn.
posted by superfluousm at 11:26 AM on February 5, 2013


Thought this might be worth sharing: Alyssa Rosenberg addresses the more conservative critics of Beyonce's performance.

As for me I thought the audiovisual assault was part of the charm, and it certainly made up for the (up until that point) kind of dull game (luckily the game itself decided to get more interesting both on and off the field afterward).

The missus was somewhat underwhelmed, when I asked her why she replied "That was it?" Which, you know. It was short. The only bad Beyonce is not enough Beyonce.
posted by HostBryan at 11:29 AM on February 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


I've heard that Whitney Houston's iconic performance of the Star Spangled Banner was most likely prerecorded. Doesn't mean it isn't still a jaw-dropping couple of minutes 20 years on.

Is there something different about the first-linked Beyonce performance that I'm missing? I don't think she's as interesting or talented as Houston was - that's not what I mean - but is the issue of prerecorded performances really news?
posted by Currer Belfry at 11:29 AM on February 5, 2013


I must say, the endless handwringing over Beyonce wearing that outfit now that she is a MOTHER just irks me no end. Like, what the fuck, I grew a person in my abdomen, now I have to dress like Ma Ingalls all the time? I didn't realize that the Madonna-Whore complex was still au courant, to be trotted out so breathlessly. I'm a mother, TWICE, and I'll wear whatever the fuck I want.
posted by KathrynT at 11:37 AM on February 5, 2013 [42 favorites]


Beyonce is the First Lady of Hip Hop? I don't recall her marrying Eminem.

I don't recall her turning into Queen Latifah. Whatever, I guess it's like when Michael Jackson decided to designate himself the King of Pop.

I'm not a fan of Beyonce or Destiny's Child but even I knew that "Single Ladies" is a Beyonce solo number.

Yep and I still don't understand why she made Kelly and Michelle sing/dance it with her. It seemed like she was rubbing their faces in her solo success. I like Beyonce's music but I think her superdome of an ego is becoming repellant.
posted by fuse theorem at 11:44 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think the criticism about Beyonce having lip-synced to a prerecorded track at the inauguration is ridiculous. Clearly she is a very talented and skilled singer, and anyone who saw the non-musical parts of the inaugural ceremonies knows that audibility was hit-or-miss depending on any number of factors, especially breezy + microphone do not always mix well.

I was there and couldn't hear a damn thing Richard Blanco was saying in his poem. I wish he had lip-synched it so I could have heard it!

But criticizing Beyonce for using a pre-recorded track at the inauguration? If it's good enough for Itzhak Perlman and Yo Yo Ma...

[Please note: I am not on your lawn comparing Beyonce to Itzhak Perlman and Yo Yo Ma. I have a lawn of my own and therefore only just heard of Beyonce recently, having stopped listening to new music around, like, 1989 or something.]

That said, Beyonce's halftime show was far more entertaining than the football game, but I could say that of any halftime show, even if I don't like the musician.
posted by Cookiebastard at 11:44 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


> Interesting considering the usually very mid-american vibe/demographic the halftime show aims for.

I think Dodge (Chrysler) took care of that this time.

posted by mmrtnt at 11:47 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I still don't understand why she made Kelly and Michelle sing/dance it with her.

Have you seen the video? There's three dancers. Also, she didn't make them do it with her, she politely asked and they said yes.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 11:48 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


To paraphrase a Lincoln quote: for those who like that sort of thing, this is something they'll like.

I was watching with a bunch of people who usually don't like that sort of thing, and we all liked it. There's something to be said about well-conceived and executed stagecraft, even if the music isn't your favorite.
posted by snickerdoodle at 11:49 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure even Beyonce would agree that Prince is greater than Beyonce. And though I adore her, I'm pretty sure the list of people who Beyonce thinks is better than Beyonce is a fairly small one.

I sort of hate and sort of love that many of these points were made by my friend, my brother, and I last night, especially how great it was to have a "present" act as the halftime show. The problem is that Beyonce is famous (and talented) in a way that is too rare to expect it every year.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:52 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just watched it and when Kelly catapulted up onto the stage I may have whooped audibly. Many hours after the event. Watching it with my 12 year old on grainy internet footage. And I'm just going to leave this here:

Irreplaceable
posted by tigrefacile at 11:58 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Beyonce's performance part of an Illuminati plot.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 12:00 PM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I liked it but agree with this comment by Tom Shales about the halftime show:

"It was hot stuff but strangely empty and unaffecting. That is, the instant it ended it was as if it had never happened."
posted by estherbester at 12:00 PM on February 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think that a lot of the criticism of Beyonce re:the Inauguration and the halftime show comes from a safe way to be kinda racist and sexist (or at least sex- and body-negative). The inauguration thing is Yet Another Example of the Laziness of Black People and/or Look at how Obama and People Like Him Aren't Like Us. John Roberts can fuck up the wording to the oath of office all he wants, but heavens forfend that a singer noted for being damn good live pre-records her own voice.

And as the Alyssa Rosenberg article HostBryan linked to above shows, it doesn't matter how much she conforms to conservative ideals (and in many cases, white conservative ideals) in her life, once she puts on booty shorts she's a slutty slut who sluts around and therefore destroys the innocence of children. I certainly don't recall such outcry over, say, the fact that Mick Jagger wore pants so tight you could tell what religion he is.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:04 PM on February 5, 2013 [8 favorites]


Beware of performances where the crowd noise is intentionally as loud in the mix as the music.
posted by swift at 12:04 PM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tom Shales "It was hot stuff but strangely empty and unaffecting. That is, the instant it ended it was as if it had never happened."

Coincidentally, that is exactly how Mrs. Shales describes sex with Tom.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:08 PM on February 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


I think the criticism about Beyonce having lip-synced to a prerecorded track at the inauguration is ridiculous. Clearly she is a very talented and skilled singer

If you haven't heard the actual live feed of Beyonce's voice, that they replaced with the lip sync, it's worth a listen.
posted by msalt at 12:28 PM on February 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


They did love the Calvin Klein 'concept' commercial though.

After that commercial I broke the resulting awkward silence by saying "I think my gaydar just exploded."

Beware of performances where the crowd noise is intentionally as loud in the mix as the music.

I understand she sang more than one song, but since I wasn't familiar with them and the crowd sound was so loud I really couldn't tell one from another. The scenery was nice though.
posted by localroger at 12:56 PM on February 5, 2013


"Mick Jagger wore pants so tight you could tell what religion he is"

That's a good point, zombieflanders. And would have been a much better takedown of the prudes than Alyssa Rosenberg's attempt.

Beyonce's independence or success aren't what bothers the prudes. The prudes can't handle the bump and grind onstage from a woman because current female entertainers aren't permitted to rub their genitals all over the camera like male classic rockers are.
posted by surplus at 1:01 PM on February 5, 2013


The prudes can't handle the bump and grind onstage from a woman because current female entertainers aren't permitted to rub their genitals all over the camera like male classic rockers are.

Literally, in Bruce Springsteen's case.
posted by Etrigan at 1:13 PM on February 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


And I think it's literally fear of female genitals. Fear of Madonna's being an exemplar. I don't think any vagina prior to hers was subject to as much speculation.
posted by surplus at 1:26 PM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I still don't understand why she made Kelly and Michelle sing/dance it with her.

Have you seen the video? There's three dancers.


Yes I've seen the video and I know there are three dancers but two of those dancers are not Kelly and Michelle. There were dozens of other women on the stage at the Super Bowl (who continued dancing with Beyonce after K & M left the stage). In my view it wasn't necessary to have Destiny's Child perform one of Beyonce's biggest hit solo songs and its widely imitated dance moves, only for Kelly and Michelle to be hustled off stage mid-song. (And who knows if it's true or not but per Gawker, K & M's mics were turned down below Beyonce's during "Single Ladies". Wonder if that was at their insistence or hers?)

Also, she didn't make them do it with her, she politely asked and they said yes.

Maybe they didn't want to be showing out in front of all those people and making her look bad.

After that commercial I broke the resulting awkward silence by saying "I think my gaydar just exploded."

I thought the ad would have been much better if the model's face had been kept obscured. For some reason the guy's face made me think of Cabaret.
posted by fuse theorem at 1:44 PM on February 5, 2013


Missy Elliott? Da Brat? Lil Kim? ... Queen Latifah?!

Oh. (My2c: Beyonce is a pop or R&B (if that even exists anymore) singer, not a hip-hop artist).

The prudes can't handle the bump and grind onstage from a woman because current female entertainers aren't permitted to rub their genitals all over the camera like male classic rockers are.

Do you listen to or watch Top 40 music/videos?

3 of the 5 women at the gathering I was attending were vocally pissed about the lack of sexy male dancers.

I thought it was pretty horrible too. I'm sitting there watching it with my 4 y.o. daughter (my wife encouraged it!) and thinking "OK, the strong, skilled men do all the important stuff, and the hot, sexy women come on during the timeouts and perform burlesque."

I don't mind female performers owning and flaunting their sexuality, but it was a little weird to see all those scantily clad women shaking it for apparently all those rich male owners, players, and fans.

Also, it is always nice to see a female performer with a (semi)normal-sized body.

But just very weird and unsettling overall in the macro sense of gender equality, i.e. the men do the real work (football) and the women are cheerleaders/dancers.

And just as a fan of pop music, I thought the whole thing was gaudy and lame. My2c.

It was another beautiful woman (but this one with exceptional talent), ass jittering in a crowd of other beautiful, ass jittering women. Not an unpleasant sight, but not exactly a striking piece of entertainment.

Exactly.

*click*
posted by mrgrimm at 2:07 PM on February 5, 2013


I just glad that there were no walker-rockers this time around.
posted by srboisvert at 2:16 PM on February 5, 2013


The Unflattering Photos Beyonce's Publicist Doesn't Want You to See
posted by acidic at 2:20 PM on February 5, 2013


A testament to parenthood: All I could think about watching that video was how I felt/looked when our baby was six months old. I wouldn't want to even be awake at that hour, let alone jumping around in panties etc. The whole time I was just like, "holy shit, how does she have the energy to do that?"

The answer of course is a phalanx of nannies, cooks, trainers etc. Still. Shit.

Addendum: Modern lighting effects are so fantastic, really, concerts are like some kind of space-age extravaganza now. I probably won't go to another one for ten years or so, but I guess they'll be even better then.
posted by smoke at 2:21 PM on February 5, 2013


I think it's really weird that people are seeing it as like sexy women strutting for football players or whatever, and I am a person perennially offended by the whole scam of professional football cheerleading. Like, she and her dancers looked awesome and strong-- they had strong, powerful-looking bodies, and danced like crazy. I did not at all think of it as "ass jittering" and that phrase actually sounds more sexist to me than anything that happened in the performance. (As does calling it burlesque, tbh.) I'm not saying it was NOT sexy, but there's a point at which you have to accept that women have women's bodies and also sometimes dance in a way concordant with our culture. And that was some intense dancing. You can't like, not dance during your Super Bowl halftime show, and it's not like being Lady Gaga or Madonna with a cohort of sexy male dancers is the only way to signify "feminist!"

It's really ugly and true how much people care about BEYONCE'S FAUX-FEMINIST SELL-OUT/MOMMY SEXUALITY!!! when she's a talented woman doing what rock/pop stars do. Mick Jagger Bruce Springsteen &c. &c.

Anyway, I grew up loving Destiny's Child as the most deliciously poppy female-centric confection, and I loved the reunion and can't really get het up about Beyonce asking them to perform with her. To me it was actually really delightful that they all performed Single Ladies; it's a cool song and a great hit and it just seemed fun. I wasn't thinking "ha, watch the powerless marionettes dance to Beyonce's tune" or whatever. It seemed like a performance targeted at my precise demographic actually.

Anyway, Beyonce's awesome. Her songs & performances rule.

Do you listen to or watch Top 40 music/videos?

Male and female performers get very different flak/are pigeonholed very differently for using their sexuality in music. Men are dangerous, edgy, salacious rockstars; women are not serious and tools of the patriarchy (or if they're rap artists people are already dismissing them out of hand) or whatever. I'm not really sure exactly what women are supposed to do about this, they really can't win.

After that commercial I broke the resulting awkward silence by saying "I think my gaydar just exploded."

Ha?
posted by stoneandstar at 2:32 PM on February 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


The Unflattering Photos Beyonce's Publicist Doesn't Want You to See

Exactly. Even with an amazingly gorgeous woman performing her ass off (literally), there's still the overwhelming stink of needing to censor what she really looked like. UGH. Those photos are great.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:45 PM on February 5, 2013


As my wife noted, Beyonce's dance routine seemed to be making the statement "I am an athlete, too." She kept running for 12 minutes nonstep, with very intense choreography.

Also, why can't a woman be dancing sexily for her own benefit (or for other women)? Are you suggesting that women don't really like to dance, or prefer prim moves (like Riverdance, perhaps)?
posted by msalt at 3:14 PM on February 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't think any vagina prior to hers was subject to as much speculation.

The Virgin Mary?
posted by nathancaswell at 3:18 PM on February 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


She kept running for 12 minutes nonstep, with very intense choreography.

Note that Beyonce performed a high-intensity physical performance for about the same amount of time as the total time of actual play in a football game. She didn't get hit in the head like the football players do, of course. But still, she and her dancers were probably giving the same level of physical exertion as the football players for more total time than any of the players in the Super Bowl did.
posted by The World Famous at 3:22 PM on February 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


I think she's being called the first lady of Hip Hop because she's married to Jay-Z.
posted by kimberussell at 3:57 PM on February 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, why can't a woman be dancing sexily for her own benefit (or for other women)?

Do you think that's what the halftime show was? I didn't find it offensive, just awkward. I have no problem with women dancing sexily; I have no problem with strip clubs or prostitution either. What I don't like are the sexual double standards for men and women.

You can talk about male rockers' packages, but they don't simulate sexual arousal a la porn films. Beyonce's act was full of that. Can you imagine a male performer rolling around on the floor like she did?!

I admit it's confusing for me to see people outraged by the Go Daddy ad and supportive of the halftime show. To me they both illustrate the same cultural problem--for men, intelligence and ability are praised highest; for women, sexual attractiveness is pretty much all that matters.

(Also, it turns out that the Go Daddy ad boosted the company to its biggest single sales day ever. Whee.)

I think she's being called the first lady of Hip Hop because she's married to Jay-Z.

oh no. ew.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:02 PM on February 5, 2013


I think it's really weird that people are seeing it as like sexy women strutting for football players or whatever, and I am a person perennially offended by the whole scam of professional football cheerleading.

Well, she wasn't wearing a floor length gown by the latest designer, you know? If anything she was dancing for men and women, with probably a slant on her end towards women. She may not have been dancing just for men, but no doubt she was aware they were part of the audience, which is fine.

Note that Beyonce performed a high-intensity physical performance for about the same amount of time as the total time of actual play in a football game.

Beyonce has a great voice, it was a shame she couldn't sing at times because she was busy doing a high-intensity physical performance.

Again, it was fine show, but didn't seem like anything new from Beyonce. Which is still head and shoulders above, say, half of the music industry, but didn't leave me saying "wow!"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:14 PM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thought Tom Watson made a strong point on this: I'd have loved to see / hear a Beyonce Tribute To New Orleans performance or at least for her to have given some kind of nod in the set to where she was and to the music born there from which her music at least partly descends. Instead we got the Greatest Hits (Short Version). Could have been anywhere. An opportunity missed.
posted by motty at 4:15 PM on February 5, 2013


You can talk about male rockers' packages, but they don't simulate sexual arousal a la porn films.

... ? Not sure what you're saying. Are you saying that male rockers' packages aren't sexy? (They are, and women masturbate to them.) Are you saying that they're not waving their erect, aroused penises at the camera? Or are you saying that gyrating dance moves are a simulation of arousal (in that case, I find it unusual that this signifies "porn" and not actual sex)? (Or was it a typo for "stimulate"-- in which case you're wrong, male rockers' packages do stimulate arousal, and it's a failing of straight porn films that they don't eroticize male sexuality more.) Plus, male performers who use sex appeal tend to do a lot of thrusting, which is obviously straightforwardly sexual and a simulation of sex.

Beyonce's act was full of that. Can you imagine a male performer rolling around on the floor like she did?!

I can imagine it, and it happens, and I wish it happened more often. Male performers who fall outside of traditional straight masculinity (in their personas) often experiment more with the bounds of sexuality in their performances, and obviously find something attractive and expressive about more "feminine," sensual dance. But really, it feels weirdly undermining to call her dancing "jiggling" and "rolling around," like treating her like a "sexy baby." (Also, to be honest, that was a minor part of the performance to me compared to the dancing.)

But seriously, as a woman I understand unfair expectations about my sexuality-- on the other hand, if women are doing incredible, beautiful, powerful, sensual dance in an athletic and entertaining way, that's an amazing expression of the human experience, and I think it's a failing that men aren't encouraged/enabled/allowed to express that more. I didn't watch that performance and think "porn," to be honest. Sexuality isn't porn. Beyonce's performance didn't feel alienating to me. It made me wish I had the strength and endurance and control over my body to do what she did. And the potentially "porny" parts-- writhing on the ground-- to me simulated passion and genuine pleasure, not what I associate with "porn" (generally artificial, highly male-oriented, &c.).

I understand the objection to generic female "sexy dancing," in the dispassionate and unimpressive way it's often performed in music videos & all, but this didn't feel like that at all. Definitely at least as female-oriented as male-oriented. Actually, what I find really wonderful about Beyonce is the way she unites those two concepts in a broad way in popular culture-- she is believably strong and womanly while also being romantic and sensual.


I can understand why some might not have had their minds blown by the performance-- there was nothing like overtly insane about it, but I think if you grew up with Destiny's Child that the reunion was really like a tiny lost piece of pre-adolescent jubilance, and Beyonce and what she represents is kind of huge (according to like 50% of my female Facebook friends, anyway.)
posted by stoneandstar at 5:44 PM on February 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


what I find really wonderful about Beyonce is the way she unites those two concepts in a broad way in popular culture-- she is believably strong and womanly while also being romantic and sensual

Uhh not to immediately quoteback myself but this is what's missing when people say "Why don't women love Lara Croft/[generic "sexy" "empowering" male-oriented character]? She's rich and sexy and athletic!" Beyonce has that quality of actually seeming like a real woman with real human concerns who's also successful, sensual, and fully-realized. Ladies love Beyonce, I think they genuinely want to be her.
posted by stoneandstar at 5:47 PM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Beyonce for Texas Governor.
posted by donajo at 6:27 PM on February 5, 2013


They were still doing college marching bands in 1990.

They should go back to marching bands, maybe with a bit of camera magic or whatever they do.
This is New Orleans, and our marching bands are fucking rock stars.

How about some holographic St. Augustine .
posted by St. Sorryass at 8:00 PM on February 5, 2013


You can talk about male rockers' packages, but they don't simulate sexual arousal a la porn films. Beyonce's act was full of that. Can you imagine a male performer rolling around on the floor like she did?!

I take it you missed Prince's Super Bowl halftime show, then?
posted by The World Famous at 10:39 PM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I must say, the endless handwringing over Beyonce wearing that outfit now that she is a MOTHER just irks me no end.

Is anybody other than the usual conservative loons needing something to justify their wingnut welfare actually bothered?
posted by MartinWisse at 10:59 PM on February 5, 2013


I take it you missed Prince's Super Bowl halftime show, then?

If Prince did his show with ALL male dancers and performers, and gyrated sexily on the floor of the stage without his guitar, I'll concede my point I suppose.

There is something about the "all-girls" attitude of the show, with all the women dressed as exotic dancers that bothered me. Male performers would not be dressed like strippers.

I'm obviously in the minority, but sitting there watching it with my four year-old daughter, I suddenly felt very embarrassed for the performers, the NFL, and civilization in general. Justmy2c.

I must say, the endless handwringing over Beyonce wearing that outfit now that she is a MOTHER just irks me no end.

I couldn't care less if she is a mother or motherfucking Ke$ha. I'm about a sex positive as it gets. If Beyonce wanted to be an exotic dancer or sex worker, that's cool with me. If society wants to lionize female sex performers (Dita Von Teese, Jenna Jameson), that's cool too. But what bothers me is that to be a successful female pop star, if you are a female, you often have to exploit your sexuality. And you ALWAYS have to be drop-dead gorgeous (see Buzzfeed PR request).

It's fine to shake your ass and own your sexuality. But how can you differentiate between that and the women who are strongly pressured to show T&A to sell units?

I'm not saying its offensive. I am saying I am concerned about the message it sends girls. And boys. Again, I could say the same thing about the entire music industry, so I am really just pissing up a rope here.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:08 AM on February 6, 2013


If Prince did his show with ALL male dancers and performers, and gyrated sexily on the floor of the stage without his guitar, I'll concede my point I suppose.

I assure you that Prince took full advantage of the phallic potential of the guitar during his Super Bowl performance. I don't recall whether he had any male dancers.

There is something about the "all-girls" attitude of the show, with all the women dressed as exotic dancers that bothered me. Male performers would not be dressed like strippers.

It bothered me, too. But Madonna did have male stripper dancers for her halftime show.

It's fine to shake your ass and own your sexuality. But how can you differentiate between that and the women who are strongly pressured to show T&A to sell units?

Easy. The former are not making any money doing it. The latter are.
posted by The World Famous at 11:23 AM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


if you are a female, you often have to exploit your sexuality. And you ALWAYS have to be drop-dead gorgeous (see Buzzfeed PR request).

Adele? Missy Elliott? Amy Winehouse? Sorry, not most people's definition of drop dead gorgeous.

and that was just a start.
posted by surplus at 1:18 PM on February 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just like the ads for Cialis and Viagra, the Super Bowl Halftime Show was all about entertaining and maintaining the penis.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:58 AM on February 7, 2013


Adele? Missy Elliott? Amy Winehouse? Sorry, not most people's definition of drop dead gorgeous.

One of the more ridiculous derails I've ever participated in (you really want to try argue that looks don't matter when female pop singers are concerned?), but ...

Adele. Missy. Amy. That literally took 30 seconds. Perhaps I'm too generous, but those women look damn gorgeous to me.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:03 AM on February 7, 2013


Also, compare and contrast:

The Super Bowl Halftime Show

vs.

The 2 Broke Girls Super Bowl Commercial

"Wait, why are we doing this again?"

"It's for the Super Bowl."

"Oh, right."

I've said (more than) enough.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:17 AM on February 7, 2013


This post needs a "beyonce" tag...

One Does Not Simply Remove Pictures from the Internet
posted by mrgrimm at 9:31 AM on February 14, 2013


Male rock stars don't use/sell/commodify their sexuality?!?!? AYFKM? Mick Jagger? Iggy Pop? Prince? Led Zep? Hendrix? Springsteen? Even Bono does heavy breathing and bad boy-ish clothing. Ditto, soul, blues, etc. Singers are often lust objects. Friggin BOY BANDS are lust objects, just for a younger audience that likes it a bit less direct.
posted by msalt at 9:09 AM on February 16, 2013


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