Beyonce has dropped yet another video out of the blue, and this time it's to commemorate the one-year anniversary of her eponymous album that broke the Internet in 2013. Beyonce's "Yours and Mine" isn't a music video, though, but a visual narrative of Queen Bey's beliefs about everything from fame and love to lust and friendship. Her frank commentary on death, insecurity, and vulnerability is interspersed with closeups of her face sans makeup, and while the messages are clearly calculated, they show Beyonce as more human than ever before.
Like her music, the message of this retrospective short film is pro-women and pro-feminism, and she definitely practices what she preaches. In that sense, "Yours and Mine" is a kiss-off to those who find her persona too manufactured and her image too flawless. If you wanted more from Beyonce than sound bites and lights spelling out "Feminism," this is probably the most you're ever going to get. From the stark opening sequence to the wistful, watery end, Mrs. Carter's video outlines some simple and straightforward feminist facts that can resonate with cult followers and critics alike. Once again, whether you like it or not, Beyonce proves to be pop feminism's most vocal proponent.
1. Feminism Is For Everybody
Despite the pervasive belief that feminism is about masterminding the downfall of the male species, feminism is actually about equal rights. "A feminist…is a person who believes in equality for men and women," explains Beyonce in her video. In order to demolish damaging gender stereotypes about women, we have to rethink the gender roles available to both men and women. Thanks for clearing that up, Bey.
2. Express Yourself
Girls are too often taught that pleasing others (particularly men) is the ultimate aim of their existence. Don't take up too much space, don't question the status quo, and, for the love of God, don't be bossy. Even Beyonce explains that modeling after her mother growing up, she was trained to be a "people pleaser." However, now that she's upgraded to feminist status, she says, "I'm no longer afraid of conflict, and I don't think conflict is a bad thing."
3. Self-Love Is a Political Act
"It all starts with if you can look at yourself in the mirror and say I like that person," Beyonce declares. If you have self-love, then you'll be willing to give yourself what you need to survive, because, as Beyonce also mentions, no one is going to do it for you. "Your happiness depends on you," she says. And as feminist icon Audre Lorde also said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
4. You Are the Boss of Your Body
"I've always been very specific and very choosy about what I do with my body," Mrs. Carter notes as she saunters across the screen. More than anyone else, Beyonce knows what it's like to have her body dissected and critiqued by men and women alike who act as if they have a right to comment upon her physical form. In a way, Bey's life is almost like a never-ending form of street harassment, (but with millions of dollars as the consolation prize). She's taken control of her body, and so can you (as much as the law will allow it).
5. Marriage Isn't Anti-Feminist
While the institution of marriage is pretty archaic and rooted in the idea of woman-as-property, a contemporary expression of the union can be far more egalitarian. Whatever you think of Beyonce and Jay Z and their relationship, Beyonce's marriage doesn't seem to have hampered her sense of individuality, freedom or level of success in any way. "People feel like they lose something when they get married, but it doesn't have to be that way," she says. "It's okay to depend on someone."
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