After watching Beyoncé’s performance at the 2016 MTV VMA’s I was once again reminded of the power that creatives hold to communicate important messages and sway public perceptions.
In a breathtakingly impressive 16 minute performance, Beyoncé was able to convey the absolute importance of self-worth, equality, and community.
A self-professed introvert (as a child), it is entirely possible Beyoncé no longer describes herself as such. After all, introversion is just one facet of a personality that develops as we grow older. However, Beyoncé has also been described by others in recent years as ‘genuinely quiet’, ‘shy’, and ‘softly-spoken’. In interviews, her responses to questions are articulate, measured, and genuine. These are some of the hallmarks of the introvert, so can we presume this is still the case?
There’s a quote attributed to Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, where she states;
“Women who are naturally quiet feel as if they can’t be feminists or be powerful because of it. We really need to undo that perception.”
Women and girls of color face even more challenges to knocking down that perception. I recommend reading Educator and Administrator Kelly Wickham Hurst’s article for Quiet Revolution entitled ‘Quiet Black Girls—and How We Fail Them’ which gives some insight as to the particular challenges quiet girls of color face in the classroom.
It’s my view that popular culture has become more important than ever in changing the discourse. Creative output by performers, artists, filmmakers, and writers have the ability to open minds, ignite long-overdue or suppressed conversations, change political climates and challenge stereotypes.
This is why women like Beyoncé Knowles-Carter are so important. Not only is she important to women everywhere who still find it difficult to claim their space in a world that makes it damn hard to do so, but her importance to girls and women of color cannot be understated.
These are my initial thoughts after the VMA’s. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Please feel free to share them in the comments below.