Glancing at Facebook this week, it’s obvious that Beyoncé killed it at the Superbowl. Not only did she launch a tour and a new music video, she executed an epic performance outshining Coldplay, and nearly the entire football game itself.
Her performance reminded us of her powerful music video, FLAWLESS featuring an excerpt from the TedX speech by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a leading Nigerian novelist, short story writer and nonfiction writer.
The music video begins with Beyoncé as a young girl, when she was part of the hiphop group, “Girls Time” and in a television music competition against the men’s group, Skeleton Crew. The music video transitions into the present and Beyonce as always shows up powerfully with strong lyrics.
Midway through the song, Chimamanda’s speech begins. Her words made us pause and reflect. And we played the song over and over and over again.
We teach girls to shrink themselves
To make themselves smaller
We say to girls,
"You can have ambition
But not too much.
You should aim to be successful
But not too successful.
Otherwise you will threaten the man."
Because I am female
I am expected to aspire to marriage
I am expected to make my life choices
Always keeping in mind that
Marriage is the most important
Now marriage can be a source of
Joy and love and mutual support
But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage
And we don't teach boys the same?
We raise girls to see each other as competitors
Not for jobs or for accomplishments
Which I think can be a good thing
But for the attention of men
We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings
In the way that boys are
Feminist: the person who believes in the social
Political, and economic equality of the sexes
We’ve probably listened to the song over thirty times. And with nearly 20M views, it’s obvious that the message is powerful for many others as well.
What’s ironic is the end of the video, when Girls Time loses to Skeleton Crew. Based on the showdown at the Superbowl, it’s apparent that the tables have turned…