by Savita Champlin
Beyonce has been a figure in society for many years. She became famous in her Destiny’s Child days and remained a star, but she was only known for being a talented singer and dancer with little depth to her character. Almost 20 years after this, she released the film Lemonade. This is when she began talking about subjects that matter to her and in society. In the past she has said that she is not a feminist, in a May 2013 Vogue interview, she said, “I don’t think that I would consider myself a feminist. That word can be very extreme”. This makes Lemonade show a crucial part of her journey into becoming a feminist.
In the “anger” section of her film, Beyonce expresses her pent up emotions about race, class, gender, and her relationship with Jay Z. She sings her song “Don’t Hurt Yourself” about how she’s disrespected and is understanding that she does not deserve to be treated this way for any reason. This section is about her remembering who she is and I found this part to be the most empowering. She transforms into the “boss lady” image she is known for and I see this as her step into feminism. She is showing that she is independent and knows her worth. In this section, there is a quote by Malcolm X that says, “The most disrespected/unprotected/neglected person in America is the black woman”. Society has mistreated black women and Beyonce is showing that she won’t allow that anymore. Visually, there is fire around her. This shows the intensity of her emotions and emphasizes the fact that she has the power. At one point, she takes her wedding ring off and throws it. This is the ultimate power move as it clearly shows her anger and control.
Lemonade shows how The Queen Bey has developed as a woman and a feminist her fans look up to. Beyonce starts this film when she is at a low, showing herself as a real person with the same struggles as non-famous black women. The journey she shows in this film is inspiring to so many young women, especially black women. From 2013 when she refused to call herself a feminist to 2016 when she released the female empowerment film and album, Beyonce went through this change of identity in public and took the risk of judgment in hopes of helping others.