BeyoncÃ© took over the Super Bowl this year by releasing a music video debuting her new single Formation the day before the big event setting a great example of what we should all be doing: advocating for those others.
The video features the singer in post-Katrina Louisiana embracing her “Texas-Bama” roots and speaking on empowerment along with a few other societal issues.
BeyoncÃ© is one of the most influential celebrities in the world, and can seem a little overrated at times – but she knows this and uses it to her advantage to speak on issues and start much needed conversation.
With lines like “I like my baby hair, with baby hair and afros” and “I like my Negro nose with Jackson 5 nostrils,” BeyoncÃ© delivered a message that encourages black women to embrace their culture and appearance.
She also addresses the issue of police brutality with a scene of a black boy dancing in front of a line of policemen.
This song is different from songs like Check Up on It, in which she sings about how to lure men in with her body, and Flawless, where she sings about how fabulous she is. Formation was an attempt at using her fame as a platform to advocate, and she succeeded.
“It makes me proud,” she said. “I wanted people to feel proud and have love for themselves.”
She knows she has millions of loyal followers, and she took advantage of that. She’s built up her status for more than a decade and has reached the point where she will make the music she wants without worry of what people will think. This adds to the authenticity of her message and increases impact of her message.
Other celebrities have done similar deeds in using their status to advocate, and rightfully so.
Last year, Lady Gaga, known for her I-don’t-care-what-people-think-of-me attitude and outrageous outfits, released the song Til It Happens to You shining light on the reality of how campus rape is overlooked.
Michelle Obama advocates for little girls who aren’t given the opportunity to receive the same educational opportunities little boys are because she believes girls should have the same chances as boys. Angelina Jolie is well-known for her philanthropic work and humanitarian tendencies, such as adopting children from third-world countries and advocating for women’s rights.
Each of these celebrities has used their high ranks in society to give voices to the voiceless and confidence to the timid. And we should do the same.
It’s their responsibility to use their celebrity influence in a positive way, and though we may not have as much pull, we ourselves have some influence on the people in our own lives. It’s our duty to use that pull to do what BeyoncÃ© did – educate and create conversation.