The Mrs Carter Show
This week I went to see The Mrs Carter Show. I’m a bit of a fan-girl anyway, but I’ve never before found myself screaming in excitement as I did when Beyoncé came on stage in her amazing full catsuit covered head to toe in sequins. I was beside myself, as was the crowd. The collective screaming gave way to a resounding roar as Beyoncé proceeded to dedicate the first forty minutes of her show to, what I can only describe as, a manifesto. A feminist manifesto. The energy was incredible and as the word ‘FEMINIST’ was projected across the entire stage, pink writing on black, letters taller than three Beyoncés, the crowd roared in agreement and I felt, for the first time in a long time, that I wasn’t in the minority. I was part of a movement, surrounded by people who shared the same hopeful ideal; the equality of the sexes.
If you’ve listened to Beyoncé’s new album (which I suggest you do – even if you don’t like the music, listen to the lyrics) you’ll know she doesn’t beat around the bush.
“I can’t wait till I get home so you can tear that cherry out, (turn that cherry out, turn that cherry out)” (Blow)
“Driver, roll up the partition, please
I don’t need you seeing ‘Yoncé on her knees” (Partition)
“I’ve been a bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad girl
Tell me what you’re gonna do about that Punish me, please” (Rocket)
As you can imagine, VJ and I fucking love this. Applauding oral sex, giving head in the back of a limo, Queen B being submissive and referring to herself as ‘Yoncé’ all mean that our love and respect for her have sky-rocketed. However, I didn’t think that her sexuality and the sexual themes of the album would pervade her show as much as it did. I was so wonderfully surprised and delighted; the show was highly sexual but it was also tasteful, classy, strong and empowering. Beyoncé, through the use of her lyrics and various video montages, explained how she couldn’t’ understand why sexuality in girls was repressed and seen as dirty or cheap, and that there was no need for it to stay that way.
Every outfit choice, every song choice and all the supporting materials demonstrated that the sexuality Beyoncé presented was entirely hers; entirely what she loved about her body, what she loved about her husband and the things she loved to do with him, for him and for herself. She didn’t suggest that all women should express their sexuality in any particular way, she just presented herself and her view, and created an environment in which everyone else felt free to do the same.
The crowd was mainly made up of girls and women aged 13-30 and I couldn’t think of a stronger more powerful message to send out to such a receptive audience. I was in admiration. Beyoncé managed to capture exactly how I felt about feminism and what it meant to me in my day-to-day life; a simple belief in the equality of the sexes on all levels and in all environments. She seemed to share some of her empowerment with every one of us, and was singing out a massive ‘fuck you’ to anyone who ever thought that since she became Mrs Carter she was just Jay-Zs little wife.
The messages were loud and clear: I’m strong, I’m sexual, I’m successful and I’m here.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Beyoncé posted this video of her London shows, with footage from the performance and members of the audience in and around the O2 arena. It captures the energy of the show I saw and the strength and power behind it. Take a look!