Beyoncé is pregnant. I do not care much but I am happy for her. I am happy for any expectant mother. One would have to be an ogre to be anything but happy for a pregnant woman. What has disappointed me are the tweets and blog posts lauding her for "doing it the right way".
Someone tweeted a link to a well written article applauding Beyoncé for "doing it the right way" by dating, getting married, accomplishing her personal goals, and then having a baby. It is certainly a positive message but since when is Beyoncé an appropriate (some say THE) role model for young women of color? Is she the best we can do?
Beyonce married a former drug dealer and makes her living singing suggestive lyrics while half naked. I am not judging her she is a grown woman who has owned her choices and built an impressive empire. I will state unequivocally that Beyonce is not someone who I want my children to emulate How many intelligent women can honestly say that they would welcome a former crack dealer as their child's fiancé? Be real. None of you would be thrilled with that prospect. How many of you would enjoy watching your child dry hump microphone stands in a onesie? Be real. That is not what I want for my children.
Our society has become so warped and enveloped in celebrity that they crown entertainers "American Royalty". THAT is the best we can do? A former crack dealer and the woman who coined the phrase "Bootylicious" (Oh and she didn't. It was first said by Snoop on Dre Day at least ten years earlier but I digress). People on Twitter argued with me "What is wrong with young girls looking up to Beyoncé if they have no positive role models around them?".
Everything is wrong with it. They are not Beyoncé.
Their former crack dealer will most likely not turn his life around and become a super wealthy businessman. The empire of their choosing might not be as successful as Beyoncé's. Their super fetus that they chose to have after getting married might not be enough to get their former crack dealer spouse to stay. They are not Beyoncé.
I am not picking on Beyonce. This has been a pet peeve of mine for years. I harassed my sister when she "liked" Kim Kardashian on Facebook. I asked her what it was that she liked. The sex tape? The huge ass? What is a (at the time) 17-year-old doing liking an amateur porn/reality star? Why does she know who she is?
It is because our children have been raised to consider athletes and entertainers as appropriate role models. Beyoncé is an adult entertainer. Her entertainment is for adults not children. Stop saying that it is okay for our youth to emulate her. It isn't. If you want to "do things the right way" then do so because it is the "right way" for you. Not because a woman shaking her ass on television did so and it worked in her favor.
To all the women making excuses for our youth and their lack of role models: have you considered becoming one yourself? Volunteer. Become a big sister. Check in on your younger cousins, nieces, and nephews. Ask questions. Listen. You won't get to glow on the cover of a magazine, make millions of dollars, or melt hearts as you rub your belly at an awards show but you will make a difference if you try.
Click here for another take on Beyoncé and "doing it the right way".