The MTV Music Video Awards have been one of America’s top award shows since their debut in 1984. Beyonce, no doubt, stole the show this year. After only a sixteen minute performance, she received a large and immediate [social-media] response. Beyonce boldly rejected the stereotypes that men feel threatened by successful women, women can’t express their bodies sexually, and most importantly, she very publicly rejected the widely accepted but wrong definition people have of feminism.
After the show, Beyonce’s husband of six years Jay Z congratulated her on stage, calling her the “greatest living entertainer”, not at all seeming threatened or mad about her success that night. In all the years Beyonce has been a performer, she has gotten plenty of criticism regarding her lyrics and dancing. Her provocative dance routines and songs have been called ‘anti-feminist’ and ‘too-sexy’, which is ironic because no one ever seems to criticize men when they have ‘inappropriate’ or ‘provocative’ songs. It can be assumed that critics say those things because they have a false definition in their heads of what feminism is. And that’s the next stereotype that Beyonce’s performance absolutely smashed. Women have been pigeonholed into the double standard where they are supposed to be sexy for men, but the minute they own their own bodies sexually instead of men owning them, they get hate and are called sluts. Beyonce renounced both those stereotypes by including both seductive songs and dancing in her performance, and at one point, standing in front of the large and lit up word ‘FEMINIST’ while a recording played in the background from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TEDx Talk “We Should All Be Feminists”.
This broke the stereotype that feminists are all men-hating non-feminine women, and gave the correct definition (equality between men and women) the mainstream attention it needed.