Beyoncé is the lastest cover girl to cover Cosmopolitan Australia’s November issue.
With one song, one concert, one photograph, Bey can influence the global conversation on feminism, race, sexuality, philanthropy, justice, marriage, love and friendship. We call it the Beyoncé Effect: the hip-shaking, booty-popping, sing-along way she gets her fans involved in the politics of empowerment.
And while obviously she’s perfect in every way, she also has that indelible way of being real; that sparkly mix of being unattainably gorgeous and could-be-my-best-friend close. Her body confidence, emotional tenacity and physical strength make her serious role model material. And don’t even get us started on her baby-mama skills and the way Jay Z looks at her when they’re together.
All the women, independent
Did you see Bey perform at the Chime for Change concert in London earlier this year? Girl knows how to make social change cool! The Gucci initiative put women’s rights in the spotlight, although Bey has done that for years. And while GQ magazine may have crowned her #1 Hottest Woman of the 21st Century, and her beautiful face even adorned limited edition Pepsi cans this year, she still reserves the right to be a Feminist In Heels. And we love that.
“I truly believe women should be financially independent from their men,” she said. “And let’s face it; money gives men the power to run the show.
It gives men the power to define value. They define what’s sexy. And men define what’s feminine. It’s ridiculous.”
That’s part of the reason Bey took full control of her music empire from her papa, who’d been her manager during her crazy-successful teen years. Now, everything Beyoncé – every song, every studio sesh, every interview she’s done – is archived in her Manhattan office.
But even she struggles to process her extraordinary place in the world: “I now know that, yes, I am powerful,” she said. “I’m more powerful than my mind can even digest and understand.”
Run the world
We reckon couples who get political together, stay together. When Jay Z and Beyoncé attended a “Justice for Trayvon” rally in New York, they got their fans talking about race relations and more broadly about whether young African-American people are equal before the law. (Not familiar with the case? African-American teen Trayvon Martin was shot dead by a man called George Zimmerman in February 2012. Martin was unarmed and had committed no crime, yet a Florida court acquitted Zimmerman of second-degree murder. It’s broadly considered a devastating example of racial bias within the law.) One photo of Bey, Jay Z and Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, standing arm-in-arm is believed to have drawn people who might not otherwise talk about politics into the discussion.
The singer also cast the Beyoncé Effect when she penned an open letter to the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. “Michelle is the ultimate example of a truly strong African-American woman,” she wrote. “She is a caring mother, she’s a loving wife, while at the same time, she is the First Lady!!!! … She builds and nurtures her family, while also looking out for so many millions in so many ways.”
To finish, Beyoncé signed off with: “Michelle, thank you for every single thing that you do for us. I am proud to have my daughter grow up in a world where she has people like you to look up to.” And in those few lines, the singer could just as easily have been describing herself. Because, Bey, we’re proud to be in a world where we have people like you to look up to. You are the incredible First Lady of Pop Amazingness. Via Cosmopolitan