If you ever become a bigger than life superstar like Beyoncé and you want to figure out how to expand your legacy even further in a positive way, take a page out of her Pretty Hurts book. Arguably the most important video single off of her self titled album so far, thanks to its brave message, the Melina Matsoukas-directed short film speaks on the impractical standards of beauty that continues to plague our country and others in various ways. Mrs. Carter plays the representative from the 3rd Ward in a beauty pageant among some women who could not be considered mentally or physically healthy by a trained physician. But her message of the soul and not the surface needing surgery finds its moment when she gives the unsure answer of “to be happy” in response to a question about her life’s aspirations. It’s saddening to think how this scene reveals that some of these entrants can’t see past the life of the lights on stage. To add to the conversation, Beyoncé ultimately loses in the video to a girl who has a much lighter skin complexion. The song should have the world not just thinking about the girls in these pageants and what they put their bodies through to win, but also how our ideals of beauty are hurting ourselves since we can’t see past the exterior into a person’s true essence. We applaud you, Beyoncé.
Written by Bryan H on 04/28/14
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"Deja Vu" (2006)
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