Beyoncé, ***Flawless

Song: ***Flawless

Artist: Beyoncé

Album: BEYONCÉ

Year: 2013

Director: Jake Nava

***Flawless is a song featured on Beyoné’s fifth solo album. Beyoncé intentionally titles it her name which artists usually do with their debut album in attempts to redefine her music. ***Flawless sets the tone for the kind of political music Beyoncé is starting to create with its powerful feminist message.

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The music video begins with a clip from Star Search, a talent discovering TV show Beyoncé appeared in as a young girl. Her group “Girls Time” is the challenger to an all male group. [This scene will become relevant later in the video.]

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The TV screen turns off and the video quickly cuts to a black and white shot of the current Beyoncé. This shot shows that she is not a little girl anymore. She is a powerful woman, and she is full of rage. This is different from the other music videos we have seen from Beyoncé where she is depicted as the ultimate symbol of beauty and sex. The fire symbolizes the anger she feels and her emotions are also clearly shown through her facial expression. She is frustrated with the sexist roles present in today’s society as shown when she sings “don’t think I’m just his little wife.” Beyoncé wants to be seen as her own person, not someone’s property. She doesn’t let being the wife of famous rap star Jay-Z take away from her spotlight. She is making it clear that she is the “queen” of the music industry. “Bow down bitches!”

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The music stops and we hear a woman deliver the following speech: “We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, ‘You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man.’ Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support, but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to each other as competitors, not for jobs or for accomplishments which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.” The speech ends with definition of feminist: “the person who believes in the social political, and economic equality of the sexes.” During this powerful last sentence, Beyoncé is shown in a crowd of males raising her fist. This symbolizes her fight for equality and promise to take a stand with her music. These feminist themes are expressed throughout the album and her later album Lemonade.

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The music returns and Beyoncé is dancing with all females now. The tone of the music has changed from rage to empowerment as Beyoncé sings “we flawless, ladies tell ’em.” Thanks to Beyoncé, flawless has become a term that women use to empower each other and themselves. Girl power!!!

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The final scene returns to the Star Search episode. The female challengers lost to the male reigning champions. Beyoncé is making another political statement here. In modern society, men are still seen as superior to women. For example, men are currently still being paid more than women for the same jobs and a male candidate who was under qualified was elected president over an over qualified female. This should empower women to keep pursuing in their fight for equal rights in America.

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