Beyoncé recently backed out as the Coachella concert headliner and people are not happy. Pregnant with twins, her decision was for the best for her health and her growing family. Coachella ticket prices are taking a dive and many took to Twitter to criticize the artist. However, the criticism did not start there. At the Grammys, the pregnant Beyoncé did an edges-snatching performance while being pregnant with twins. Her outfit was nothing short of gorgeous and absolutely eye –catching. However, people, specifically some white women, were not exactly happy. These journalists took to their respective websites and wrote pieces ranging from saying Beyoncé having children didn’t make her special and she wasn’t a goddess. I am going to take the time to break down exactly why both of these are extremely wrong.
Childbirth is literally the miracle of life. So much so, that PBS had an episode in 1983 called “The Miracle of Life” about the human reproductive process. That episode won an Emmy. Also, childbirth is STILL extremely dangerous in the US. In fact, Time Health reports that more US women are dying from pregnancy and childbirth now than in recent history. The United Nations sets standards for maternal mortality rates. The US has increased according to the national rate the UN has set. In a recent study from Obstetrics & Gynecology, they found that in 48 states and Washington DC, the mortality rate increased 27% to 24 deaths per 100,000 births. Even with all the modern medicine that we have, women are still dying from pregnancy and childbirth, even more than usual. This is an even bigger problem in the black community. The UN wants to consider black women in the US as an “international crisis” (The Root). The maternal mortality rate for black women in the US die is about three to four times the rate of white women (The Root). I say this to tell everyone that every single pregnant woman is special. Every woman who survives pregnancy is special. Every single woman who survives childbirth is special. Black women who survive are especially special. Beyoncé, a black mother of one and growing two lives in her body, is special. No money in the world can be thrown at this and she is just as likely to be another statistic. So, she is extremely special. With not one, but two miracles of life growing in her body, Beyoncé deserves to be called special, just like every other mother that exists in this world.
At the Grammys, Beyoncé called upon inspiration from a goddess for her dress slayage. Her dress was inspired by the Yoruba water goddess, Oshun. Oshun represents female sensuality, love, and fertility. Many times, in history, Oshun is depicted surrounded by water donned in yellow. The gold headpiece that Beyoncé wore was a tribute to the Hindi goddess Kali. She is associated with death, sexuality, and motherly love. Last, the flowers on stage were pulled from the Roman goddess Venus (Aphrodite in Greek mythology). Venus is attributed for being the goddess of love, sex, beauty, and fertility. Beyoncé is not calling herself a goddess. Beyoncé wasn’t showing everyone how much “better” she was. She was exuding the ideas of a mother. She was showing the culture of the African people. To understand this, people had to understand African icons and culture. In retrospect, many people, especially the journalists criticizing her, might not have understood these “not so subtle” references. However, what people should understand is that Beyoncé there teaching a lesson. Lessons of goddesses that are symbolic in their own cultures as mothers and symbols of motherhood. For someone that hid her pregnancy so much from the public last time, Beyoncé is not letting us forget how amazing motherhood is.
The Beyoncé criticism needs to cease. Yes, it is understandable to be mad and upset about her cancelling her performance at Coachella, which I should mention she was the first black woman to headline this concert. However, this woman is the epitome of a working mother. She did the Grammys and already that should have been a strain on anyone. Singing isn’t easy, and it can’t be any easier with two humans shifting around your organs. Beyoncé deserves the bed rest that every other woman deserves. While we put her on a humongous pedestal for being so amazing, she is still human. And she gets to be one.