Hello everyone! I hope you’re all well! I’ve finished my first week of Term 3 and it’s been great! I finally celebrated my late late late birthday which was full of laughs and making memories with some of my best friends that a gal could ever wish for. I’m also properly 20 years old now, which is crazy and I need to get my butt into gear. I’ve got 4 weeks until my first exam and I’m actually beginning to gain confidence in the amount of knowledge I just absorbed over the year! Just need to keep this up for a little bit longer and then I’m SORTED for Summer and the STATES. (4 months to go, what?)
I’ve also finally 100% completed my essays and while I shed a few tears, erased the errors and painstakingly ensured all my references were done and dusted, I began to realise what parts of History I really enjoy. Obviously, America is my one true love. But, I’m quickly beginning to realise that analysing questions such as ‘What Constitutes X?’ (X being an operative term for anything, fill in the blank for what you want) has proved extremely insightful to study. In fact, all of my essays do this. Whether it be what made failure, inequality or a genocide (fun part of my life, I know), it’s not been that exhausting, painful or dreary.
In particular, I’ve come to realise that analysing gender constructions is becoming a little forte of mine. One of my highest essays this year has been analysing Marquis De Sade’s work and using the C bomb in an essay (hehe) to say that Sade is a moralist. Also, reading Sara Pascoe’s book ‘Animal’ has made me realise that gender is such an obvious construction yet, to us, it’s so innate that we’re oblivious to it. Gender encompasses a wide variety of ideals. Thankfully, in the UK, the liberal nation that we are recognises a great amount, yet in other nations, many people are less fortunate. It’s no wonder that people across the world seek to travel to the United Kingdom as a source of idyllicism and an opportunity for a better life. Anyway, I’m digressing. I really enjoy looking at what makes a female and discussion of this is so saturated and plentiful, that I’m considering looking into the feminisation debate and popular-culture music and comedy of the 21st century for my dissertation*. I don’t have to do it for another 2 years but I can already see me ‘researching’ by transcribing interviews of Meghan Trainor and Katherine Ryan.
*Yes, I know, I’m so bloody keen I deserve an award for being a big try-hard.
Anyway, let’s start with a big topic in the current social media cloud/bubble/world. This is Beyonce Knowles.
Beyonce Knowles has gained an extreme amount of prominence in the recent mass media for the release of her new album, Lemonade. Filled with some bubbly (sorry) tones, the message behind it is dark. It discusses so many topics such as her father leaving her, and the infamous #beckygate will forever protrude throughout social media. I could probably do a Dissertation on that and say who Becky is (it’s me everyone!!). Hold up though, is this what Beyonce has been like before? Well yes, she’s always been a ‘strong, independent woman’ for the majority of women to aspire to be. Yet, she gives such conflicting images, it’s difficult to ascribe a particular identity to her.
Humans love to classify things, it’s in our nature. Well I hope so, or I’ve been taught wrong all year. Where does Beyonce fit? Is this part of her alluring stance? Beyonce fits somewhere in the region of ‘I’m a fierce bitch’ and ‘woe is me, hate you Jay Z’. Her identity is construed towards presenting everything at the same time that we can no longer affix her towards one identity. What everyone does know is that Beyonce is a powerful figure, and whenever her music comes on, we all have a cheeky bop wishing that we woke up like that.
But, if you’re a big Beyonce fan, or you’re into conspiracy theories, you’ll know that issues with Beyonce’s love life aren’t exactly a new thing. Take this conspiracy theory, in which Jay Z gets blowjobs from dancers in order to be at the front of a video.
“Cathy “Koreana” White was a 28 year old that died suddenly on September 2, 2011. There is a conspiracy theory surrounding her death and it involves music mogul, Jay Z. The conspiracy theory is that Cathy was murdered because she was planning to expose their alleged affair. Allegations circulated after they were photographed together at a club in Las Vegas in August 2010. She was contacted by a tabloid regarding her relationship with Jay Z and she was willing to talk for the right amount of money. Cathy died 48 hours after Jay Z’s wife, Beyonce, announced her pregnancy at the 2011 Video Music Awards”.
Clearly, there have been plenty of issues circulating around their ‘pristine’ marriage. Is their relationship really flawless? But it leads us back to the question of what does Beyonce want her identity to be? She can afford to change so often and still have a gaggle of fans follow her. We, as normal people cannot.
Let’s take another example of female identity. Makeup. Here is someone applying makeup.
We all know that makeup exists. You’d be blind not to. So many brands, more brands existing every day. British, American, Australian (all other countries aswell), they all claim to do one thing on the side; make a woman feel better.
Now, I wear makeup, yes. I’m beginning to realise what makeup is good and what makeup is bad. Gone are the days of the ’17’ £1.99 lipstick and in comes the MAC, the Urban Decay and the Victoria’s Secret. I know that I’m improving, but I can’t help but feel that sometimes, it’s still not good enough. It doesn’t help that pretty much 24/7, I’m on some form of social media looking at trends and new pieces of makeup that, if I had all of them, I’d be so into my overdraft (of which I am not, responsible gal here). Makeup is a concealer. A way in which to present to the world one thing, when really you could be another. It doesn’t accentuate anymore and highlight those little nuances that make you ‘you’. Everyone is the same. More is more.
With this notion that ‘more is more’, is it any surprise that our female identity is continually repressed if the existence of makeup allows up to cover up our natural identity and create another one? The same can go for beauty treatments. I love an eyebrow wax, I really do. Growing my eyebrows out is a long and painful process, but it’s worth it for the few minutes of a bit of warm wax, a lady slightly too close to your face and fresh brows at the end of it (they’re on f l e e k but I hate that word so much it pains me to type the letters in close proximity). But, more is more. I’m always wanting a fake tan, I wish I could have gel nails constantly and I wish that my skin was flawless that I could happily walk around in a backless dress with no issues. It just shows that our female identity is destined on a constant course of improvement?
Like Beyonce, is a woman ever happy? Or do we have to keep changing to keep up with the people around us? What even is a ‘female identity’? So far, it seems to be in the current mind that a female identity just connotes with passivity, felicity and being beautiful. FORGET BEING STRONG. THAT’S NOT FOR YOU!*
* I know it is gals, I’m just reverberating an opinion which is commonplace on social media. Boo you.
Hopefully, as you can see, I find the whole concept of what makes a female identity particularly interesting, so much so that this isn’t the first post I’m going to do that is like this. The next post is going to discuss the issue of the girlsquad and how a girlsquad can help promote an identity.
For now, enjoy this song. It just promotes how great a woman is.