After watching Homecoming, the Beyonce movie*, I am left wondering about a lot of things. For example, how is it possible to choreograph 200 people on stage? How much were those dancers and musicians paid? How does a human female perform at the top of her game after just giving birth to twins? And then the question that stuck with me the most: Has Beyonce proven the irrelevance of pants? We know what it means to “wear the pants,” but what does it mean when you decide to take them off?
I remember seeing Beyonce on the cover of TIME some years ago, sans pants naturally. My reaction at the time was - W.T.F. This woman is on the cover of TIME and STILL doesn’t get to wear pants?? But I think I got it wrong. First of all, she never wears pants so why would she wear them for TIME? It’s kind of her thing. Secondly, I was assuming that she maybe didn’t have a choice in that costume decision, which, once I thought about it some more realized is most likely not true, especially after seeing her movie and getting a sense of her total boss nature.
So then I started to wonder what the pantsless thing is really about. Yes, she has an amazingly epic ass that deserves worship. Coco Chanel once said, “High heels put the rear-end up on a pedestal where it belongs,”** and I couldn’t agree more. The ass (sorry Coco, that’s what we call it now) deserves worship. Beyonce’s ass? Deserves a cult following, where that cult is like a billlion people.
But there’s one more piece to all this, which to me feels the most significant, and that’s the sexuality/sexualness of performing without pants. What does it MEAN, as a woman, when you decide not to wear them? Because sexuality is a complicated thing; how we show it, feel it, embody it, own it, feel empowered by it. Inversely, and maybe more commonly, how we try to hide it, ignore it, and feel disembodied, objectified and disempowered. We can feel removed from ourselves and like our own sexuality—the sexual nature of our bodies—is dangerous. Our sexuality is used as a justification for violence over and over again, and that is even more magnified for women of color.
So I’m wondering...what would it feel like to have total ownership over our own bodies? What would it look like to feel completely safe to express our sexuality? I think it looks like...Beyonce, in her underwear. It is The Ultimate power statement. It says—I know I’m hot AF. I don’t care if YOU think so, I think so. And you can LOOK all you want, but you can NOT touch. It says - I wear the pants SO HARD, I don’t even have to put them on.
What I wish, for myself and for every woman, is that we feel this way about ourselves. Hot AF, owning our sexuality and our power, and unapologetically ourselves, whether we are wearing pants or not.
*Go watch it and watch it now. Seriously.
**I cannot find proof of this quote, but I swear I read it somewhere. Gonna have to take my word for it.