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Pretty Hurts…Right?

Hi my readers, I want to apologize for being absent these past couple of months with my blogs. Too much was happening in my personal and professional life, that I couldn’t find the time to sit around the computer and put my thoughts together. However, I have decided that instead of making a post on every episode for the shows I choose to blog about, I’d do it either mid-season or at the end of the season. In the meantime, I will be making various posts on other things that have been on our screens and give my take on them.

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Just over a month ago (December 2013) Beyoncé Knowles released the long awaited album that her fans/ stans have been waiting for. For those who don’t know, I could really have cared less whether or not she released as she isn’t one MY favourite artistes. However, I have to admit she is an amazing talent and she wins so I would support her regardless. The album was released on December 13, 2013 without any promotion, leaks nor even a single. The world went crazy from what I have seen and have read on the internet. Like most people I bought the album from iTunes and tuned in. I started watching the videos first because for some weird reason, that is how I learn the lyrics of songs.

(See link for video http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x190k8m_beyonce-pretty-hurts-official-video-hd-720p_music)

Pretty Hurts being the very first song on the album jumped out at me in more ways than one. I have to commend Beyoncé for the video as the message was quite clear. This is not in anyway an analysis of the album, I will be focusing on what this particular song is saying and what I grasped from it. Here we see a tortured girl representing the Third Ward of Houston, Texas in a beauty pageant with hopes of winning. We see her struggles as a contestant and all that pressures that one would undergo if they choose this “pageant life”. Beyoncé is not the thinnest of girls in the competition which already makes her stand out, and not in a good way. This is because the pageant industry has a particular mold that all girls should fit; being anything but a size 0 would make you fat. Additionally, she is representing Third Ward, which according to history, isn’t known for being like Beverly Hills. I’m sure you see that Beyoncé is screwed. No way is she winning. 

She shows us that even if the girl like her is in the finals, with “blonder hair, flat chest” and the concept that “thinner is better” the results were as follows. Ms. Third Ward would still be second best.

So, what really am I trying to say? This is where most people will probably say I’m hating on Beyoncé. I don’t really care but here we go. Beyoncé is rumored to have surgeries (not saying this is true and screw you if you think I should check my sources) to look the way she looks. She also said, in one of her videos explaining the album, that she lost 65 pounds after “having” her baby (also questionable to the world. See link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzfYqvZDVMY) to get back in shape. Now you tell me, did  Beyoncé even need to lose any kind of weight? And if she needed to, why so much? If we look at the video we would see a very small waist and a very “perfect” figure. Something that most girls dream of having. How then can you be singing a song which speaks about what women go through to look beautiful when, as one of the most photographed celebrities in the world, Beyoncé is ever on point? Is she now rethinking her image and what she has projected into the world? Does she now realize that she has contributed to the stereotype of what beauty is? 

Perfection is a disease of the nation” proclaims Beyoncé. But is this really true? There are so many women in this world that have been victims of what people like Beyoncé represents. Now I can’t totally blame her for this as the media has a lot to do how these celebrities are viewed. Playing into our subconscious, telling us what we all should aspire to be. Beyoncé made an excellent point in the video when she was asked what her aspiration in life is. I was waiting on the response because I couldn’t begin to imagine what she would say. Surprisingly (well at least to me), she said she aspires to be happy. While happiness for one person isn’t happiness for another, I would want to think for her, just knowing that she has a beautiful family and is so greatly blessed, is enough to be thankful for even if she were to go broke tomorrow. Is this the same Beyoncé that for all these years has been seen as a narcissistic self serving human? Has she now, after doing loads of soul searching, found greater meaning to life?

Even if she may not be at fault, totally, she has to take some of the blame for her image and how she’s viewed publicly.  She is after all a public figure. What I am trying to get at is that being pretty doesn’t have to hurt. I mean, why should it? Which is why I have slight problem with the song although it has a good message. Being pretty shouldn’t be defined by anyone but YOU, so why should pretty hurt if you aren’t making changes to your body to meet society’s demands?

I have been blessed with a lot friends who are indeed very pretty and in my eyes they are perfect.

Meet Brittany and Tonya

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Pretty doesn’t hurt for them because they aren’t in the public eye…right? Wrong! They undergo just as much criticism as the next person. But I guess we wouldn’t see it that way would we? I mean, they aren’t famous, nor are they among the wealthiest of people in the world. So when Beyoncé says pretty hurts, for who is she referring?

-KT Speaks

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About Keirn (84 Articles)
Realist. Gobby. Juror #8. Follow me on twitter @keirnthomas. I watch a lot of tv and have a lot to say.

6 Comments on Pretty Hurts…Right?

  1. Hey Keirn :D…
    You know Bey my girl so I gotta drop a few words…
    I love that you asked why pretty should hurt and it really had me stopping to think. Really, pretty shouldn’t hurt and it’s unfortunate that it does.
    The question you ask, once you stop to think about itt, really brings out what I believe (know?) is the message Beyonce is trying to bring accross in the video. The message of the enormous pressure that one who’s put in the limelight feels to be perfect and the vanity of it all. I know she has spoken of the pressure that she herself feels. You say she is ever on point. It’s that expectation of her that the world has ths helps to fuel the lengths she goes through to fulfill it. People may want to believe that because she is beautiful she wakes up out of bed with radiant skin, perfect hair and a tight figure. Underneath it all, i’m pretty sure some of her beauty is as a result of constant (excessive?) dieting and “gymming” and having some of the best stylist, makeup artists and hairdressers.
    Being beautiful doesnt make one immune to insecurity. I remember once reading that the song “bootilicious” came out of one day feeling like she was too fat and wanting to do a song that would embrace her assets… make her and other women feel better about themselves… “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly”. When u think about it, “jelly” isn’t something most people in the western culture want to celebrate. I’ve indeed watched the ups and downs of Beyonce’s weight over the years (kinds a shameful thing to admit) and I can tell she works hella hard to maintain. Heck I even use her figure as cues to when she has something coming up. When I see her slim down is when I know she’s gonna drop a video or an album or a major performance.
    Besides all the personal reasons she might have done the song I alsk have to note that the video is not telling her own story (solely) but of the character she’s built. You’ve made some keen observations of the video and pointed out things that I never stopped to think about and that flew right over my head. It’s a somewhat different intepretation as you observed a girl who never fit the mold taks second place.
    My observation was a character who has one countless pageants, is probably the favouritd the win the chrre

    • Thank you for your comment. I get where you’re coming from re her wanting to maintain the figure etc, but like you said, she did Bootylicious, hence she could be fat and still “slay”.

  2. Hey Keirn :D…
    You know Bey my girl so I gotta drop a few words…
    I love that you asked why pretty should hurt and it really had me stopping to think. Really, pretty shouldn’t hurt and it’s unfortunate that it does.
    The question you ask, once you stop to think about itt, really brings out what I believe (know?) is the message Beyonce is trying to bring accross in the video. The message of the enormous pressure that one who’s put in the limelight feels to be perfect and the vanity of it all. I know she has spoken of the pressure that she herself feels. You say she is ever on point. It’s that expectation of her that the world has ths helps to fuel the lengths she goes through to fulfill it. People may want to believe that because she is beautiful she wakes up out of bed with radiant skin, perfect hair and a tight figure. Underneath it all, i’m pretty sure some of her beauty is as a result of constant (excessive?) dieting and “gymming” and having some of the best stylist, makeup artists and hairdressers.
    Being beautiful doesnt make one immune to insecurity. I remember once reading that the song “bootilicious” came out of one day feeling like she was too fat and wanting to do a song that would embrace her assets… make her and other women feel better about themselves… “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly”. When u think about it, “jelly” isn’t something most people in the western culture want to celebrate. I’ve indeed watched the ups and downs of Beyonce’s weight over the years (kinds a shameful thing to admit) and I can tell she works hella hard to maintain. Heck I even use her figure as cues to when she has something coming up. When I see her slim down is when I know she’s gonna drop a video or an album or a major performance.
    Besides all the personal reasons she might have done the song I alsk have to note that the video is not telling her own story (solely) but of the character she’s built. You’ve made some keen observations of the video and pointed out things that I never stopped to think about and that flew right over my head. It’s a somewhat different intepretation as you observed a girl who never fit the mold taks second place.
    My observation was a character who has one countless pageants, is probably the favouritd the win the current one and is a bit of a meangirls. She still has her struggles as she battles to be “perfect” and still gets torn down. At the end of the day she has lived a life of being shallow and fact and by the end of it all we’ve seen that she has never thought about being anything in life but…… pretty
    ……. yeah i did a long-ass comment cuz i had a shitty-ass day and this took my mind off it…. typed from my phone so there’s bound to be a bunch of mess up there too…

  3. This was a great piece. Well written and I love the insight and analysis that came with it. Most importantly I appreciate how you stated your bias whenever it came up, many writers fail to do so and it often makes them seem disingenuous at worst and pretentious at best. I think Beyonce is one of the few celebrities who allows us some (even if very little) glimpse of what her life is really like. She has spoken about the pressure, her issues with her body image etc. so we understand where this song is coming from and what it means to her to get this message out. I agree wholeheartedly that pretty really shouldn’t hurt but the reality is that it does. That’s because instead of us trying to find the pretty in ourselves, we’re busy trying to fit ourselves into stereotypical molds of what it means to be pretty or attractive. This is how popular culture sometimes eats away at us and robs us of our individuality by making us feel like we all have to be and look like the people we idolize on tv (but that’s a totally different rant). I’ll just say this; If pretty hurts, just imagine how ugly feels.

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