It is exhausting to battle against misogyny and anti-blackness. Rap and hip-hop are common forms of misogyny. For instance, black women may be denigrated or even completely erased in videos, and male artists may not be held responsible for aggression against black women. On the other hand, despite their mediocrity, Caucasian women can be praised. An examination of various viewpoints demonstrates that Beyonce's Lemonade video supports rather than promotes negative stereotypes of black people.
According to Bell Hooks, Lemonade broke down barriers rather than being written exclusively for black female audiences. However, rather than advocating against stereotypes available in the popular culture, Beyoncé’s choreography and style is an ordinary moneymaking venture that magnifies the stereotypic views against the bodies of black females. Hook cites a display of black female bodies in the entire video as the evidence. Ideally, the images used reflect directly on being unfit, overweight and obese. More specifically, Beyoncé concentrates on constructing a powerful symbolic black female sisterhood that is capable of resisting visibility (Institute). It is hard to ascertain that Beyoncé is shifting the gaze of the mainstream community by challenging them to revise the way they view the black female body because the video repositioning fails to challenge the overshadowing of the way the conventional sexist constructions of the female gender body and their identity in general.
On the basis of empowerment, the lead character, Beyoncé acts as an embodiment of female power which is utter fantasy as well. Hook suggests that her neutral message is undercut by female violence or anger, which incorporates betrayal and lies. The violence is eroticized and made to appear sexy in the video. With the depiction of anger, the video advocates for utilization of violence to gain domination in the popular culture. However, such violent acts cannot enable women to grasp power as suggested by the artist. The simple showcasing of black women fails to create a just culture for optimal wellbeing that entails self-respect and actualization and female culture. Construction of a healthy self-esteem is based on people’s ability to honor and love their bodies. The art of Beyoncé is a false construction of power with images that are objective about ideal feminism. Therefore, Anne Hooks acknowledges the sisterhood created by Beyoncé but argues against its capability to promote female self-actualization.
Blair Kelley suggests that Lemonade is an enhancer of the black women’s struggle for humanity. According to him, Hooks misses the points expressed by Beyoncé’s symbols. For instance, the choice to be angry breaks the water that also most drowns her, pushes her forward, breathing in the recognition of her personal desire to survive. While Hooks ‘ analysis concentrates on the anger, “ Don’t hurt yourself “is a critique of the traditional Christian marriage rather than sticking in anger (Adelman). Beyoncé goes ahead to recognize that the bonds that unite people have existed since time immemorial. Beyonce suggests that women from different backgrounds are bonded by a space of devaluation by humanity. Hence, black women must put a significant effort to portray their journey and experience through their voices music and vision. Despite that it is imperfect and not popular, it is not a failure.
Joy Anne-Reid asserts that the performance of Lemonade is a form of feminism in which Hook is an advocate. It suggests that black women deserve adoration and admiration that white women take for granted. From history, black women were not perceived as women but objects in North America, South America, and the Caribbean. To the present, Black women, including the idolized ones such as Serena Williams that is featured in the video are inadequately appreciated in America. Anne-Reid's argument is that Beyoncé is commodification of the sexuality of Black women by seizing receipts from the hands of the popular culture. However, Anne-Reid takes a neutral point by suggesting that room for critiquing the work of Beyoncé from the feminist narrative exists, but there is room to build on her advocacy too.
Beyonce uses lemonade and Black women in the entire video, which indicates a reflection of their relationship. Hooks suggests that the entire Lemonade seeks to reduce, celebrate and create delight in the current challenges related to devaluation and dehumanization of black women while Kelley opposes it. On the other hand, Anne-Reid is neutral about the message that Lemonade presents. Ordinarily, black women are believed to be more obese and overweight than their white counterparts hence requiring exercise and weight-reduction measures. Popular prejudices have a tendency of creating low self-esteem. Apparently, ordinary lemonade is believed to be a cure to excessive weight. Despite that Blair Kelly suggests that Lemonade presents a problem that all women face regardless of their ethnicity, it is hard to justify it because Beyonce features only Black women in the film. Nevertheless, Blair holds to the notion that the Black women indeed expertise negative stereotypes from the popular culture, which defends the idea of Hooks. Therefore, the argument that Kelley presents against Hooks is weak. Nonetheless, Anne Reid admits that some elements of Lemonade create space for anti-black women arguments. Therefore, Lemonade reinforces the views of the popular culture about the less-appealing nature of the bodies of the black women.
Adelman, Lor. Feministing: A Black feminist Roundtable on Bell Hooks, Beyonce and " Moving beyon the Pain". 2016. Web. 27 June 2017.
Institute, bell hooks. Moving Beyond Pain. 9 May 2016. Web. 27 June 2017.