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.