WisdomIsMisery: People Magazine named Beyonce the most beautiful woman in the world this week. If you’ve been around here long enough, you already know my next question. In your opinion, does this mean America accepts the beauty of black women? I asked the same question when Sofia Vergara was named the most desirable woman in the world by AskMen.com. However, I was largely rebuffed. I didn’t know if this was because people didn’t believe we hadn’t made significant progression or because Sofia Vergara is Colombian. At first I disagreed, but after I saw Sofia Vergara’s Cover Girl add – where she is made notably lighter – I wondered if those people were right. Further, since Cover Girl is an international brand, I wonder if the world is ready to respect the fact that beauty comes in more shapes, shades, and forms than slim, pale, and usually accompanied by stereotypical blonde hair and blue eyes. For the record, I ask this question in regards to improving the acceptance of all forms of beauty since, as far as I can tell, not all white women fit that mold either.
My views on the pros for this nomination: Beyonce is African American; she’s a mature representative and not some teeny bopper in the fact that she is a 30-year-old woman; and she made the cover of a widely distributed mainstream magazine, People.
My views on the cons are relative: I’ve always found it weird that Beyonce almost permanently dyes her hair blonde – don’t ask me why. This just seems strange to me. It’s been blonde for so long I actually forgot at one point it’s not her natural hair color; I wonder sometimes is Beyonce a default role model. I like Beyonce as a person nowadays more so than as an entertainer. I’m actually over Beyonce the entertainer. I haven’t purchased an album of hers since Dangerously In Love. In fairness, I don’t purchase much music at all because I’m kind of a music snob these days; and lastly, like most African American entertainers, I feel Beyonce built her fortune on the backs of blacks but when she “made it,” she turned her back. Like some others, she only seems to pop up when she needs us to by a product or support an album or movie to remind us “oh yeah, I’m still Black yall!” For example, the fact that she never personally speaks on the many skin lightening media incidents she always seems to be in the middle of surprises me. To my knowledge, she never spoke on the most recent L’Oreal incident discussing her racial background either, which is even more awkward since People named Jennifer Lopez the most beautiful woman last year and J-Lo, who is arguably just as or more mixed than Beyonce, only listed Puerto Rican as her background for the very same make-up company. However, like a politician after the primaries, I know Beyonce is focused on reaching a larger demographic so she really has no incentive to cater to us (see what I did there?) except for when she needs something. As they say, hate the game not the player.
At the end of the day, I don’t want to take away from this accomplishment despite some of my general reservations. I’m happy Beyonce received this accolade. If I had a daughter, while I would prefer she look to a Michelle Obama as a role model I know that’s often unrealistic to expect of a young woman. Thus, given the other entertainment options like a Nicki Minaj or Rihanna, heaven forbid, I would jump for joy if my daughter chose Beyonce to emulate over them. At this time, I turn the floor over to Dr. J.
Dr. J: Wis… my brudda, but did you see the rest of the list? I was ready to anoint Beyonce but then I noticed that there were some names on this list that just let me know it’s full of crap. This is one of those lists that only serves the purpose of selling issues. Ask me how I know… I mean, I love Beyonce all day, I snort Rihanna everyday, but look who else made the list. Jennifer Hudson made the list! Meredith Veira made the list! I can’t believe this tragedy happened! And when I look at this list, I can name several people who I know won’t end up in the list.
As it pertains to Beyonce, I have mixed views. I think that she’s the epitome of the American woman in so many ways. She is a working mother and that’s real. She’s also a dream and a role model to women, not just young but old. I think that People Magazine is fully aware of this. That’s what our media does to us, they remind us that the unattainable is attainable. Or, they remind us that we are no where near success. Personally, i’d rather see a woman, a Black woman, who represents the majority of our women and still is beautiful. So my vote for most beautiful woman is, Taraji Henson. I love her… and so should everybody else.
For the record, I never agreed with Sofia Vergara. I like her, but I don’t love her. She wears way too much makeup. That raises a big point in all this, are these women even real? Beyonce is photogenically altered and so is Sofia. Where are the naturally beautiful ladies at?