By: Kyla S.

     Many would say that one of the best moments in 2013 pop culture was Beyoncé secretly dropping her self-titled album. According to the Huffington Post, the #1 “Best Moment for Women in 2013” was Beyoncé being featured on the cover of Ms. magazine. Huffington Post was not the only news source that recognized Beyoncé’s success as a step towards feminist success. So what makes Beyoncé so successful, and why is she all of a sudden being praised for just being a successful woman?

     I sat down with Serayah H., LCDS senior and dedicated Beyoncé fan, to discuss the difference between Beyoncé’s “new” image and other current celebrities. When asked if she could imagine if any other artist could successfully release a secret album the way Beyoncé released her self-titled album she stated, “I don’t think any other artist could have pulled it off, except maybe Michael Jackson.” Serayah even predicted that other artists are going to try and use the same approach for future albums, but ultimately, she doesn’t think that any other artist could pull it off and have the same success as Beyoncé. It’s probable that one of the reasons Beyoncé is so successful is because she is self-made. “You always think that she can’t come out with anything better than her last [album]…and then she does something incredible,” said Serayah. Not only is Beyoncé talented and beautiful, but she is incredibly hard working, and her hard work shows. But not everyone appreciates all of the hard work that she puts into her work. Beyoncé has received some criticism for not “helping others.” What a lot of people don’t see is that her success and her image have a huge impact on the younger generation. Though some people see her as just a good singer/dancer/performer, many see her as a huge inspiration. For anyone who has listened to the entire album or seen all of the music videos, it’s clear that there are some strong feminist undertones in a lot of her songs. People are saying that “Yonce,” Beyoncé’s new alter ego, is sexier, more fierce, and more open than any other side of Beyoncé we have seen. Her age and class, along with the fact that she’s married, has allowed Beyoncé to express herself in a way that would gain a lot of criticism if a younger artist, for example Miley Cyrus, were to try to portray the same images. “She understands her boundries…she has limits and boundaries, she pushes them but she knows when to stop before it gets to be inappropriate,” says Serayah. There’s a difference between showing a sexier, more carefree side of yourself, and twerking, half-naked, on a 40-year-old married man at the MTV music awards. Over all, Beyoncé’s success has been a huge inspiration for all, and she has created a respectable image for herself, which is refreshing, amid a media filled with promiscuity. Though some could say that Beyoncé’s new album has some scandalous images, her sole purpose isn’t to sell albums for the sake of selling albums, her purpose is to share another side of herself.

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