Racist feminists are again critiquing Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Their latest argument is the 31-year-old’s wardrobe choices were inappropriate for “Chime for Change,” a concert designed to raise funds to combat gender inequalities throughout the world.

Some of their misguided tweets included:

“Beyoncé is singing ‘At Last’ in leather knickers while quotes from Rosa Parks and Princess Diana blare on the screen behind her #empowerment.”

“Hello @Beyonce – Dressing provocatively does NOT ‘empower’ women. It objectifies+teaches that physical appearance=self worth. So plz STOP!”

Meanwhile Madonna receives praise for her brazen attire and Lena Dunham’s white-washed Brooklyn is the epitome of feminism.

Jada Pinkett-Smith – who’s been on the receiving end of criticism for encouraging her daughter’s autonomy – is standing in solidarity with her “unfairly criticized” peer. The famed actress responded to critics in a Facebook missive.


Cultural critics have also retorted. Writers Tamara Winfrey-Harris and Andrea Plaid discuss the controversy in a roundtable discussion at Racialicious, citing the differences in scrutiny between Britney Spears’ and Knowles-Carter’s sexually-charged performances.

Winfrey-Harris writes:

I think the response to these performances is very much influenced by racial bias. Brown and black bodies are routinely sexualized. Latinas bear the weight of the “spicy” and “exotic” stereotypes. And those stereotypes have dogged Lopez throughout her career. The nickname “J. Ho”–a reference to the singer/actress’ alleged promiscuity and mercenary character–even has a spot in the Urban Dictionary. And I should point out, these accused character traits seem to be based on little but the skewed way this culture views Latinas.

Chime in Clutchettes. Do you agree with Pinkett-Smith?

  • A

    Clothes don’t objectify. People do. The women making the inappropriate tweets are the ones objectifying Bey. They need to get their own mess together.

  • http://www.613style.com ToyaFromMarriedToMedicineHasASoftSpotInMyHeartForSomeReason

    “Hello @Beyonce – Dressing provocatively does NOT ‘empower’ women. It objectifies+teaches that physical appearance=self worth. So plz STOP!” <—Then by the same virtue, dressing "provocatively" means you can get raped, right?

    Man these people are a trip sometimes.

  • Ash

    White Feminists are really working my nerves these days. I’m someone who used to identify with being a feminist but the hypocrisy makes me want to distance myself from all of it.

  • nadia

    They are insecure and feel threatened… Rosa Parks is okay but Janet Jackson and Beyonce are not…

  • Chika

    I don’t even think you can call these people feminists. I mean you turned a couple of misguided tweets into “racist feminists”. Unless these tweets came from an actual feminist organization, there’s no need to call these e-thugs feminists and give the rest of us feminists a bad name.

  • Lynne

    White American feminist and social critic Camille Paglia several years ago said she admired black and Latino cultures. She explained that unlike in mainstream American feminism, these cultures enjoyed beauty and did not fear sexuality.

    I won’t bother responding directly to the post’s comments, but I have noticed a difference between mainstream feminism and the feminism of women of color. I believe the different groups want the same thing — female empowerment — but have different ways of pursuing that goal.

    For black women, there’s no shame in being admired for looking nice and feeling good about looking good. But, I notice when I hang out with white feminists, it’s a completely different vibe. They view compliments as objectification. And in some cases, equate compliments with rape!

    I’m not the biggest Beyoncé fan. But she’s beautiful, and her performances celebrate the fun side of being a woman. I have no problem with that.

  • Josie

    I wish I could co-sign this a thousand times!

  • Pat

    My thoughts: I understand this freedom women shouldn’t place limitations upon themselves. The way in which she dresses and wears her hair is a part of expressing freedom.

    But the problem I have is until young girls’ minds are formed to “understand” the difference between embracing (respecting) their bodies and dressing up their body parts for attention/selling sexuality – then there should be a responsibility present. Yes, wear a cute (not provocative) outfit if you’re performing in front of young girls. What they SEE has a longer impact. They’ll forget about Mrs. Rosa Parks bc they want that leather outfit.

    I don’t know if Bey is just trying to keep up with the times, and forgetting about this piece. But she has to remember her mother never had Destiny’s Child dressing inappropriately. Their minds were being developed and their brand, which is true empowerment.

    If it’s a Super bowl, let it rip. Not rip, but you can be sexy. In a nutshell, I just think the outfits should return to representing the event and not “always” the performer’s image. It’s another situation if parents are allowing kids to watch these awards shows. Then we are holding performers in a tight space to adjust to our kids when they are “adult” performers.

    As for J-Lo, age may be a factor.

    Now, Brittney Spears – (smh) – I’ll just keep my thoughts to myself.

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    oh god! it’s not body shaming!!!!(i am so sick of all these new “shaming” terms!) it’s just kind of awkward how the event they were at for FOR WOMEN and about women’s empowerment, so why did they have to be half naked for a group of women?

    it’s like ” yeah! women’s empowerment! now let’s dress in as little clothes as possible because us women are always expected to be half naked if we’re a celebrity!” people have argued that beyonce dances so that outfit could help her move more freely but umm.. so could that blue jumpsuit that she has on… it’s okay to wear clothes ladies. i wish people would show that you CAN be sexy without showing everything.

    this is kinda like how there are always naked women, women in bikinis all bent over and sultry in women’s magazines(and no men in sexy poses). why are women always getting naked for other women? you don’t see men in thongs and with their thang thang hanging out all over the place in a men’s magazine, you see WOMEN. the men are always fully clothed in 300 piece suits while women have just their arm covering themselves. why would a woman want to see that?

  • Kareena

    I thought people were speaking on the outfit of choice, not her actual body. I was uncomfortable hearing ”A change is gonna come” while a gush of wind was blowing coochie juice from a leotard. I thought it was disrespectful just because the meaning of the song. That unfortunately was the only performance I watched, I couldn’t take it. But then again what can you expect from Beyonce.

    As for Jada, she is really annoying, but I do like that she has an opinion of her own and freely voices it.

  • Whatever

    I agree. This isn’t “shaming” and I’d have to agree with those tweets. It’s ridiculous to talk about empowerment and such for women while dressed like you’re some like teenage boys fantasy. Singing “At Last” in those panties was just crazy to me.

  • Whatever

    If you are performing in an outfit that you would also use to seduce your man behind closed doors, then yes, you are objectifying yourself. Some outfits work for certain venues and others do not. Let’s not blur the line between appropriate and inappropriate.

  • Rue

    “while a gush of wind was blowing coochie juice from a leotard.”
    I shouldn’t but LOLOLOL!!!

  • Whatever

    Just read this article and it made me think of this article…


    This misguided XOJane writer thinks that acting like a bimbo (with a capital B) and dressing like one to work and grad school actually helps her to gain respect….See how this relates? Dressing provocatively doesn’t help you gain empowerment either.

    So crazy XOJane writer, Beyonce, Nikki Minaj, other celebrities and entertainers, regular citizens, there is a time and place for everything. When you want to be taken seriously, stand up for change on serious matters or use your voice to influence others, please dress to impress and leave the costumes, alter egos and bag of tricks at home.

  • Child, Please

    “Racist feminists are again critiquing Beyonce Knowles-Carter.” Seriously? Why do they have to be “racist feminist” to condemn what she wore? Heck I’m sick of the half naked/ leotard only craze that’s been around since 2008! It’s old and needs to go! I understand that white women are critical of Beyonce’s image, but so are women of color. Let’s be real, most of the comments on this site would be categorized as unfavorable toward her and for a myriad of reasons. Let’s not act like there are only people of other races (namely white women, as I’m sure that’s who is being referred to) who critique her be it her songs, dance, attire, speech, charity, and so forth. Further, using Madonna, who caught hell early in her career for doing the same thing, and Lena Dunham, who’s been criticized by both women of all races, as a contrast doesn’t mean she or J. Lo (whom I noticed was being called “J. Ho,” too) should be criticized any less. These women are in entertainment and unfortunately will be criticized, especially when emphasis is placed on their looks, but also for their work and image/messages they promote. I’m not saying it’s right, but more perspective was needed here to bring race into this discussion, especially on a site where a glimpse at the comments would reveal both women’s attire/songs/etc. have been criticized.

    SN: As I’ve stated before, coming to the defense of female entertainers makes the female empowerment/feminism cause moot when we criticize female strippers and prostitutes who wear sexualized outfits. Though I give Jada credit, for sticking up for women whose body’s are criticized.

  • The Other Jess

    Co-sign jada 100%. But the first line of this article should be “JEALOUS, racist feminists are again critiquing Beyonce Knowles-Carter”. Face it racist women, she looks better than you in little outfits.

  • tina

    Why is it racism every time someone criticizes a black celeb? Especially the Carters.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kelley.johnson.75436 Kelley Johnson

    Jada Pinkett has advocated to put white women on the covers of Essence and Ebony magazines. I’m not impressed by anything this woman has to say these days.

  • Lola

    It’s irresponsible to scream racism whenever someone criticises a black person. It’s like crying wolf. Accusing someone os racism should only be used when the person is being … racist, not as a way to dismiss someone’s opinion. Back in the days Madonna was criticised for exactly the same reason. Is Madonna black too?

    To be honest I too am tired of female singers performing in hot pants or leotards. Give me Adele, Janelle or Esperanza over the Beyonce, Rihanna and Jennifer. Talented ladies who sell their music not their crotch.

    The music industry is full of sexist images of females. Half naked women objectified as sexy bunny that man can buy along with a Bentley and a big house. Beyonce, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez are using the same imagery in their performance and clips. Just because women are using that kind of imagery doesn’t make it less sexist. Sorry but it was inappropriate to bring that kind of nonsense in a concert about woman empowerment.

    BTW Jennifer Lopez and Mary J Blige’s scene outfits were a crime against fashion and assaulted my eyes.

  • http://free2bleigh.com Leigh Sanders

    This author would have done herself a favor had she researched. Plenty has been said about the objectification of Spears, especially when she was a minor, and the sexual provocativeness of Madonna. I had that conversation in1992! It is being said now about Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry. The one thing this author shines the light on is her inexcusable ignorance of feminism.

  • Rob

    Everytime I see Jay-Z I see former drug dealer.

  • Darryl Hines

    As a man my attention was more on her body than her song. Call it as you might or defend her if you like but it seems that she accomplished exactly what she intended and that is a disservice to the purpose of the event. I would not expect to see a half-dressed woman in this type of venue no more than I would expect to see a lady dancing in a strip club in overalls and combat boots.

  • LeonieUK

    OK this is my issue. Others artists performed throughout the day, other artists were dressed in costume/high end fashion. Other artists were also women and also well loved by other genres of music. I’m one of those who complained to the BBC, as I actually pay my tv license. To all the performers who agreed to entertain the buying public, who appeared ready for the night,shame on you. It was disgraceful, I pull no punches this was not apporaite in anyway, and most of you know this. Mrs Pinkett-Smith, yes some UK journalist’s are very hostile towards women in the spotlight, and harsh even more to those who they CLEARLY envy. But your comments do not make way for the movement either.

    Personally I like to dress in skimpy clothers, tight jeans and wear whatever my money can afford with no questions from others. But when I go to work, which is what these artists essential do, I have to consider my audience and remember I will always be held in high regard, just because I am a woman. We all need to be accountable it’s not progress to pick sides, we need to bind together and hold each other accountable regardless. Now that is TRUE feminism.

  • texaschainsawlovin’

    I agree with you. I thought this was an issue with the outfit. Is there an image of the outfit? It’s like this, you wouldn’t wear a halter top and tight pants to a funeral. And if you did you have personal problems. If the event was something formal then yes sometimes there are fashion faux pas sometimes you have to dress accordingly.
    Don’t get me started on Jada, after her comment on women in metal music scene, I pretty much mute everything coming out of her mouth.

  • http://clutchmagazine opiland

    Beyonce should stop wearing her dancewear when on stage only when we ask ballet dancers to stop wearing tutu when performing.lmao

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  • lolala

    Why are people turning this issue to be all about Beyonce? Iggy Azelia and J-Lo were criticized for their outfits too.

  • lolala

    That being said, I think all three of their outfits were inappropriate for a benefit/awareness concert. Not feminist or anit-feminist, just inappropriate for the occasion.

  • Jaden

    The Rockettes….leotards and doing high kicks raise NO eyebrows tho. Beyonce was in flesh colored tights…no skin was showing.

  • http://creativegirlinacorporateworld.wordpress.com Esta Fiesta

    “When I go to work, which is what these artists essential (sic) do, I have to consider my audience…”

    Yes these artists are at work. I’m not sure what you do but I’ll bet you dress appropriately for the job i.e. someone in food service should wear a head covering to prevent their hair from falling in food and the standard uniform for that job. In entertainment, the standard uniform tends to be a bit more scantily clad than other professions so yes a leotard is appropriate. Just as the a head covering enables one to prepare/serve food without their hair falling in, a leotard allows a singer/dancer to move around without restriction as her job calls for.

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