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I watched a few moments of Beyonce at the inauguration. She was beautiful, talented and carried herself well.

Yesterday, she was the topic of controversy. Did she sing the national anthem live? Apparently not, despite the dramatic ripping out of the ear piece half-way.

So why the big deal, the stories about “Bey Gate?” After all, others have prerecorded their tracks and not performed live. Well, the outrage was because she didn’t address the issue when asked and looked like she was duping the public, or as one fan put it “doping” the public. People are just tired of the false pretense. All she had to do was say, “I made a last minute decision to lip sync due to the enormity of the event.” That would have been forthcoming.

And this is a woman the President continues to tell us is a  role model for teenage girls.

It’s no secret that our president and his family are friends with Jay Z and Beyonce (he calls her Bey). That’s fine.

But when Mr. Obama said at their fundraiser, “To J and B, thank you so much for your friendship. Beyonce could not be a better role model for my girls,” I wanted to yell NOT REALLY  and was hoping the feminists might chime in.

Private and performing Beyonce seem to be compartmentalized. Beyonce married first before having a baby–love that! She seems sweet in interviews and to be a likable person. So what we hear about her private life may be a role model for kids.

But you can’t ignore the public part of her image. That is mostly what we see.

The “Bootylicious” star is all about confusing young girls. While belting out the lyrics in Girl,  she proclaims, Girl we run this mother… (she’s talking about the world, using a few choice words along the way). This anthem of girl power is presented by a skimpily clad Beyonce whose dance moves would arouse any male and make him forget what she is singing about. She puts on the costume and becomes a sex siren. This has become standard fare in entertaining. You have to become a sexual object to sell yourself. I thought we were trying to move beyond this in the feminist movement.

How about a female role model who doesn’t have to take off her clothes and become a sexual object? Her talent would speak for itself. And Beyonce has the talent.

And then there are the lyrics from Jay-Z’s songs. I randomly picked one he did with Big Sean and Kanye West that i could print. Here are a few lines:

Translation, I’m the s* at least that what my neck say
Least that what my check say, lost my homie for a decade
Nigga down for like 12 years, ain’t hug his son since the second grade
He never told, who we gonna tell, we top of the totem pole
It’s the dream team, meets the Supreme Team
And all our eyes green it only means one thing
You ain’t f* with my clique.

So I’d like to invite the President to sit down with his two teenage daughters and maybe mine. Then let’s go to Lyrics.com and read several of Jay-Z’s song lyrics. Let the words just soak in and talk about the messages to young men.

Then let’s watch several of Beyonce’s videos with our daughters and follow with a discussion about the portrayal of women. What’s the message to young women? Strong and independent women have to sex it up?

Look, when people dress up for fancy affairs and look fabulous, we need to be careful to stay in reality. Peddling sexual objectivity for women; aggression, vulgarity and violence for men, does not make this couple a role models for teen age kids. In fact, they continue to perpetuate the idea that women must sell their talent with sex, and men should respond to life issues with violence, disrespect and entitlement.

Mr. President. Think before you speak. Look at those precious daughters. Would you want them rapping those lyrics or becoming a sex object for millions of men?

While these two might be popular entertainers with talent, I think we can find better role models for teens. The President’s words have impact. Choose role models whose life work involves virtue, not making women into sex sirens and using vulgarity to make money and entertain. We have been so inundated with this type of entertainment, maybe we have become desensitized to it.

 

P.S. If you decide to comment, please don’t make this a political issue. I am talking about who we chose to model our lives after and role models for our kids. You can certainly welcomed to disagree but please be respectful.

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