Wednesday night, Jay-Z and Beyoncé hosted a $40,000 per ticket fundraiser for President Obama’s reelection campaign. The “wildly successful” event was held at Jay-Z’s 40/40 club in Manhattan and included over 100 supporters. While the evening added another $4 million to the campaign coffers, it was the President’s comments about Beyonce that got everyone talking.
During a candid moment, President Obama spoke glowingly of the pop diva.
“Beyoncé could not be a better role model for my girls,” Mr. Obama told the crowd, adding, “she carries herself with such class and poise and has so much talent.”
Despite being a very private person, Beyoncé has been an ardent supporter of the Obamas. She teamed up with Mrs. Obama for the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign and she and Jay-Z have also donated handsomely to the President’s reelection efforts.
Despite once rapping about being a “Black Republican,” Jay-Z has been firmly committed to Team Obama. During the event the President thanked the couple for their friendship, and even went on to joke with Jay-Z, saying, “We both have daughters, and our wives are more popular than we are. So, you know, we’ve got a little bond there. It’s hard, but it’s okay.”
Despite the President’s endorsement of Beyoncé, many have wondered if she should be considered a role model at all.
Some have pointed to her sexy lyrics, blonde weave, and “Bootyliciious” appeal as to why Beyoncé shouldn’t be considered role model material, but as I stated on a friend’s Facebook status about the President’s comments, young girls could do a whole lot worse.
While I understand the willingness to want to promote a certain type of woman as the “proper” role model for girls, I don’t see why young women can’t look up to a multitude of women, finding inspiration in them all.
What’s wrong with a young woman loving Michelle Obama, Maya Angelou, and Beyoncé all at once, pulling from each woman the qualities she hopes to possess?
Growing up, I was drawn to both James Baldwin and Nas’ adept storytelling and consider both to be major inspirations on my work. I didn’t feel compelled to choose a “proper” verses a “hip” role model, I loved them both equally, and learned how to craft a compelling story from each man.
Though I am not a Beyoncé stan, I recognize that she possesses many qualities young girls might just want (and need) to possess—dedication, drive, loyalty, and charisma. And while many young women witness dysfunctional relationships on a daily basis, perhaps seeing Jay-Z’s adoration of his wife will show them how a man should treat his partner.
Beyoncé is certainly not perfect, but in a sea of grotesque reality show depictions and negative stereotypes about black women, looking up to King Bey might just be what many young ladies need.
What do you think of President Obama’s comments?