[What ‘Yonce Taught Me] Beyonce’s New Album Is The Blueprint For Modern Womanhood


I set aside about a gazillion hours this weekend to dive deep into Beyonce’s latest offering, her self-titled fifth album. I had been waiting for new music with the rest of her loyal fans all year, and she decided to bless us all and close out 2013 with a bang. Amazing.

What I’m feeling after digesting this album is how amazing it is to be your own person. To be truly, truly free.

She split with her father-manager, Mathew Knowles, in 2010 after deciding that it was time for her to take the lead on her career. She wasn’t a bright-eyed 16-year-old anymore and like Janet and so many others before her, the moment was right for her to step up and be more vocal.

She seemed to be managing quite well, after releasing the critically acclaimed “4,” which many (including me) said was her best album to date. I loved the sultriness of “Dance for You,” the frenzy that I worked myself into whenever “End of Time” or “Party” came on, and the beautiful simplicity that was “1+1.” It was one of the those rare albums that you didn’t have to skip any tracks and even though some songs were more solid than others, it was a damn fine album.

She promoted that album like most artists do: appearances on Good Morning America, sit-down interviews with Piers Morgan, and the like. It was cute. But there was something different about Bey. She wasn’t as guarded as she normally was. She was laughing more. She was cracking jokes. She seemed to relax her patented “Barbie” pose on the red carpet and started picking gowns that weren’t as safe. She seemed…more real. More human. Less packaging.

After she had Blue Ivy and endured the media storm that followed, I knew things would be different. Because motherhood shifts every molecule. It gives you a different lens to view the world and I wanted to know how Beyonce would revise her place in pop culture after popping out little Blue.

Well…this happened. beyonce live at revel

She took a couple months off and then got back to work to perform four nights at Revel resort and casino. Killed it. When I was three months postpartum, you know what I was doing? Not on stage in front of 5,500 people, that’s for sure.

She took some time to dote on Blue and then quickly got everything in place for an epic 2013: Singing at the inauguration. Performing at the Super Bowl. Premiering her documentary, “Life is But A Dream” on HBO. Announcing her fifth world tour, the Mrs. Carter Show (which I was fortunate enough to see when she performed in Detroit – she was amazing!). Headlining the Essence Music Festival. And on and on.


Then, with 18 days left to go in 2013, she said to us, “Oh, yeah…that album you’ve been bugging me about? Here. Have it. In full. With videos. You’re welcome.”

Let’s not even talk about how she dropped the album. This isn’t a marketing blog. Let’s talk about the music.

This is Beyonce saying, “Welcome to my world.” She sings about the love she has with her daughter on the appropriately titled, “Blue.” Moans and groans her way through “Rocket,” an ode to passionate love-making. And makes me want to book a ticket to the Carribean ASAP to frolick on the beach with my husband while we listen to “Drunk In Love,” the song everyone I’ve talked to says is their favorite on the album.

Beyonce has always been sexual, but she’s usually coy and dances around the subject. But she fully intends to explore every facet of her sexuality in “Beyonce” and take her listeners on the ride with her. One of the steamier videos (“Partition”) features her husband, Jay Z, and they are not at all shy about the types of things that get Bey singing falsetto in the bedroom.

And this is precisely why I loved it.

As a young woman, you’re often taught that “boys only want one thing” and “you better keep your legs closed.” There is no room for positive sexual expression. What do you do with that sexual energy? How do you release it? How do you discover not only what feels good to you but how to get it? For many of us, it takes time to get the point where we’re comfortable being sexual and exploring our desires without worrying about being shamed for it.

At 32, Beyonce feels free. Completely and utterly safe with Jay and that type of vulnerability is HOT. You ever disrobe in front of someone and all you can think about is how amazing they are and how excited you are to be with them in that moment? You’re not thinking about your stretch marks or the bills piled up on the counter. You are together. And that is enough. That is the message “BEYONCE” is sending.

It’s okay to feel sexual. It’s okay to proclaim your love to the world. It’s okay to be a loving mother and a dedicated spouse. It’s okay to be aggressively ambitious. It’s okay to love your body, to twerk for your man in the bedroom (or in the car). It’s okay to be YOU, to chase those dreams that are solely yours. It’s okay to look in the mirror and say, “I LOOK SO GOOD TONIGHTTTTT.” It’s okay to be a little jealous. It’s okay to not have all the answers, to decide today is the last day you’ll chase perfection. It’s okay to be all of these things at once, to embrace your full womanhood, to not feel like you have to separate parts of yourself depending on who is in your company. BE YOU. 

I’m invigorated. Everything I wanted to do but was scared to attempt…well, Beyonce kicked in the door and told us that we have the power. We have the ability. JUST DO IT.  


  1. Oh, I love this analysis of Beyonce’s album. I love her in all of her roles, but especially as a faraway mentor.

  2. I loved this piece! Beyonce really did set the bar last week. She really empowered women or even anybody for that matter to take chances and show the world what you have to offer. I wish more people would do that including myself. Thanks for sharing!

  3. *stands up and slow claps* All of this!

  4. I think all women come to a point in their lives where they begin to feel free sexually. There are different things that happen that help us to shed some of that “good girl” bagage and just be oursleves. I feel I shed some of that recently with my boudior photo shoot. I imagine I will shed even more as I go through the milestones of being a wife and mother.

  5. Yep, what you said 😉

  6. *standing ovation* YES YES YES!!

  7. I am so here for embracing our sexiness and sexuality! It’s such a major part of our lives, especially if you’re married and have kids. To see Beyonce not being afraid to put that part of herself out there for the world to see is definitely empowering.

  8. Bey’s album and this post have one thing in common…ALL THE AWARDS!

  9. I just saw this article on my facebook and it’s brilliant! I love everything you said, it’s exactly how I interpreted her album! There’s something so empowering about her freedom and it’s so beautiful to see how happy and at peace she is now. And all of my girlfriends i’ve spoken to feel the same. I’m not even a Mother and I still feel like I’ve been set free in a way.


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