Beyonce proved her power and influence when she dropped the music video for her single “Formation”. From the lyrics, to the video, to the release strategy, “Formation” was perfect. It also reminded Americans to worry about the real problems that many of us have to face daily.
To describe the video a bit, the opening bid alone shows Queen Bey on a New Orleans police car which is floating in the river, another scene shows a young African-American boy dancing in front of a line of white policemen in riot gear. Another shows the police car sinking in the river, pulling Beyoncé under with it. Her daughter Blue even makes a short appearance.
She recently sat down with Tamar Gottesman in Elle UK and spoke about the issues faced in her track “Formation” and also shared her views on police brutality. She also talks in detail about her new activewear line Ivy Park, along with her definition and practice of feminism from a parent’s perspective.
“I’m an artist and I think the most powerful art is usually misunderstood. But anyone who perceives my message as anti-police is completely mistaken. I have so much admiration and respect for officers and the families of officers who sacrifice themselves to keep us safe. But let’s be clear: I am against police brutality and injustice. Those are two separate things. If celebrating my roots and culture during Black History Month made anyone uncomfortable, those feelings were there long before a video and long before me. I’m proud of what we created and I’m proud to be part of a conversation that is pushing things forward in a positive way.”
On her definition of Feminism:
“I’m not really sure people know or understand what a feminist is, but it’s very simple. It’s someone who believes in equal rights for men and women. I don’t understand the negative connotation of the word or why it should exclude the opposite sex. If you’re a man who believes your daughter should have the same opportunities and rights as your son, then you’re a feminist.”
“Ask anyone, man or woman, ‘Do you want your daughter to have 75 cents when she deserves $1?’”
“I don’t want calling myself a feminist to make it feel like that’s my one priority over racism or sexism or anything else. If you believe in equal rights, the same way society allows a man to express his darkness, to express his pain, to express his sexuality, to express his opinion — I feel that women have the same rights.”
“It’s not about perfection. It’s about purpose. We have to care about our bodies and what we put in them. Women have to take time to focus on our mental health — take time for the self, for the spiritual, without feeling guilty or selfish. The world will see you the way you see you.”
On the pain of childbirth:
“Everyone experiences pain, but sometimes you need to be uncomfortable to transform. Pain is not pretty – but I wasn’t able to hold my daughter in my arms until I experienced the pain of childbirth.”
Read the full interview in the new issue of ELLE UK magazine, out now.