Black Is King
Beyoncé has Beyoncé’d yet again! I am stunned with the visuals, symbolism and use of Black creatives in 'Black Is King'. I saw quite a few comments like, "when is she doing to stop this African thing and go back to giving us hits?”. PSA to the uncultured critics, these are hits. Second, Beyoncé is shedding light on the history and beauty of a continent the world truly knows nothing about. I believe she’s re-centering and teaching herself about herself through her art. How wonderful is it that she’s sharing her studies with the world, so we can learn too.
Some of the my favorite looks from various designers, mainly Black and African. From Côte d'Ivoire, Loza Maléombho and L.A. local, Lace by Tanaya, their designs captivated. The fashion was bigger than a dress or sparkly bodysuit. The symbolism is what made me fall in love.
The use of white represents mourning in various cultures. Africans and Asians wear white to funerals to respect the deceased. I think all the white was an homage to our dead ancestors and hopefully the reawakening of traditional funeral attire. Head wraps and adornments were to distinguish the marital status of women, but also show humility and modesty. The BlackIsKing head adornments probably reflect sub-Saharan Africa, where they determine who has power.
I am absolutely in love with the body art in the 'Already' video. I've done body art modeling and it's so freeing to just be in your skin. Body paint in Africa is typically used to celebrate, protect, and mourn. The muses' stories are told through their bodies.
Let's get into this hair! It's not often that I wish I wasn't bald, but this is one of those rare times. The intricacy of the braids, how they defy gravity and remind me of my past. I grew up accessorizing my braids with beads and watching my mom get her hair piled high at the beauty shop. They reflect our strength and identities.
Other than Miss Blue Ivy, my heart swelled to see another girl in the 'Brown Skin Girl' video. Our South Asian beauties were present and representing. When I hear brown girl, I immediately think South Asia and I was thrilled to see Beyoncé remember that. They face colorism like all melanated people and now there's a song/video that says, "we see you too".
I love picking apart Beyoncé's work because she's so detail oriented. No one is doing it like her and I can't wait to rewatch 'Black Is King' so I can see all the things I know I missed. 'Black Is King' is up for viewing on Disney+.