The first album that I ever owned was “The Writing’s on the Wall” by Destiny’s Child. They provided many of the anthems to my childhood. As a group, they taught me the importance of friendship, the importance of self-worth, the importance of belief. Songs like ‘Girl,’ made me scared to grow up. They were independent and beautiful. They were black and beautiful, in all shades they were beautiful in a world that still tells girls that “they are pretty for a dark skinned girl,” they were beautiful. The embodiment of confidence. They provided the soundtrack to my childhood and showed me that my possibilities were endless. I remember my mum taking me to their concert, it was my first ever concert and I don’t think that I will ever forget it. They told me then that they were survivors, but now I can see that they truly are.
After watching Beyonce’s new visual album ‘Lemonade,’ I was shocked. It was both bold and courageous. It reminded me of a few years ago when Kelly Rowland released her song “Dirty Laundry.” Despite being in an age of reality tv, when it comes to the black community “what happens in the home, stays in the home,” is a mantra that we are all too familiar with. So for, the two of them to openly sing about the abuse and infidelity that they have faced is a game-changer. For the girls like me who were raised by their music, for the young girls who have now grown in to women, this is a game-changer.
Beyonce stepped down from the throne that her fans have placed her on and showed them that she is human too. That she goes through it. I thought to myself, “how did this album even get released?” But then I realised that that mindset was the problem. It is her dirty laundry to air. By allowing the world to come along with her on her journey I guess that she has inspired many by doing so. I wouldn’t even say that she owed it to her fans, that is what makes it even more courageous. What I admire the most is the story that she tells through her album. When you contrast the vulnerability that you find in the opening songs to one of the final songs “All Night,” you can’t help but respect her and also understand why she did this. She did this album for her fans and her daughter and every young girl, more than she did it for herself. By airing her dirty laundry she showed them that she was willing to fight to make it clean. I first heard her sing when she was still young, maybe my age, now she is a wife and a mother. In “All Night” she let’s us know that marriage isn’t easy. She also reminds us that she is the only one who can decide when enough is enough. People will hear the album and judge her for staying but she doesn’t care as she sings “they say true love’s the greatest weapon…oh nothing real can be threatened.” In a world that thrives off of drama, she shows the world that she will be the author of her script.
As I write this post I can’t help but think of the song “Overcome.” Strange right? But it is true. If anything that is the message that she leaves with her fans. Her album is her testimony. She shows us that there is a process. Everybody goes through something. I ultimately believe that it is by sharing what you have gone through, letting others know that you have come out stronger, showing others that you can survive, I believe that this is what love looks like. It isn’t acting as if you are perfect. Sometimes it is taking yourself down from the pedestal that others have placed you on and enabling them to relate to you. You don’t have to prescribe a way out. You just have to show them what you have gone through and let them know that God has a way out for you too.