What does it really mean to be a feminist in Hollywood these days?
Beyonce gave her version Sunday night with a 15-minute medley to close out MTV’s VMAs. And her message sent social media into a spin on.
Clad in just a sparkly leotard and flanked by several other minimally dressed females and a few bare-chested males, the performance featured every song from her “Beyonce” album – along with a smorgasbord of gyrations, leg spreads, stripper poles, body rubbing and pelvic rolls.
The popular entertainer also seemed to ensure her behind was the focus on each song, all the while educating young viewers about feminism through the words of the Chimanda Ngozi speech she borrows in the track “***Flawless.”
"We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings the way that boys are. We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls 'You can have ambition, but not too much',” says the voice-over. “Feminist. The person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.”
Of course, Beyoncé’s silhouette stands tall as the word “Feminist” lights up in large block letters, projected on the screen behind her.
Cue the confusion.
“Watching Beyonce slide down the stage with a big sign saying FEMINIST behind her just ended me. I am done. Goodbye,” one tweeted, another expressed confusion by noting that “it’s all about the deregulation of sexualization.” Others chimed in with opinions such as “an excellent night for women not wearing pants,” and “enough with the squats and leg spreads.”
On the flipside, others embraced Beyonce's message in the relatively tame VMAs.
“Feminist forever and always,” another wrote, as another chimed in with “Beyoncé's band is all females and she uses mostly female dancers, biggest feminist icon out there.”
After a medley focused on female empowerment, the star brought her husband Jay-Z and daughter Blue Ivy to the stage as she tearfully accepted the Vanguard award, thanked MTV and her fans – and desperately attempted to squash the headed-for-divorce rumors plaguing the tabloid sphere.
Last but not least, B gave a shout out to her Christian faith.
“I just thank God for this moment. I love y’all so much,” she added. “Good night.”
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