I read two articles, both speaking about Beyoncé’s recent pregnancy announcement. The first was “White Women: This Is Why Your Critiques Of Beyoncé Are Racist” by Lara Witt on The Establishment. Witt is a Desi-Kenyan feminist who expressed her frustration with white women critiquing the way Beyoncé announced her pregnancy, the fact that she made an announcement, and for slaying in the photoshoot. The other article was “Black Venus Rising: The Symbolism of Beyoncé’s Pregnancy Photos” by Catherine Young. Both authors are fans of Beyoncé, and women of color.
Both authors touched on the timing of the announcement and how Beyoncé announced her pregnancy close to the election of Donald Trump and on the first day of Black History Month, neither of which are believed to be coincidence. According to the authors, the announcement was timed this way to give hope to people of color in these times of turmoil and uncertainty.
Both pieces speak about how positive these images of Beyoncé are for addressing the stereotypes that surround black motherhood, and the negative connotations it often carries. They also both touched on how difficult black motherhood is, and the positive impact of a powerful, strong black mother such as Beyoncé has in breaking this stereotypes down.
In her article, Young looked at the announcement’s meaning and symbolism and saw the photoshoot as Beyoncé representing a black virgin Mary of sorts. With the colors of her bra and underwear matching the colors worn by Mary, the pregnant belly, and the flowers she is made into this black Madonna which Young says is a role that has, “been long inaccessible to black women due to the historical violence of stereotypes”.
Witt focused on how white women seem to be negative towards the announcement and how racist these comments were. Witt felt that the women’s racial privilege and their lack of awareness caused them to misunderstand the importance and cultural references within the photoshoot.
Young’s piece was well thought-out and a great analysis of the images and announcement and their impact people of color and her community of followers. Witt’s was a quicker and more causal read, but think both has a similar audience in that they were most likely targeted at women of color around 20-30 years of age. I enjoyed both and agreed with both perspectives, but overall I thought Young’s analysis was more thought provoking.