The Beyoncé Effect

Essays on Sexuality, Race and Feminism


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About the Book

Since her late–1990s debut as a member of the R&B trio Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé Knowles has garnered both praise and criticism. While some consider her an icon of female empowerment, others see her as detrimental to feminism and representing a negative image of women of color. Her music has a decidedly pop aesthetic, yet her power-house vocals and lyrics focused on issues like feminine independence, healthy sexuality and post-partum depression give her songs dimension and substance beyond typical pop fare. This collection of new essays presents a detailed study of the music and persona of Beyoncé—arguably the world’s biggest pop star. Topics include the body politics of respectability; feminism, empowerment and gender in Beyoncé’s lyrics; black female pleasure; and the changing face of celebrity motherhood.
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About the Author(s)

Adrienne Trier-Bieniek is the chair of sociology and anthropology at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida. She is the editor of numerous books on popular culture.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Adrienne Trier-Bieniek

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9974-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2558-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Introduction 1

Feminists Debate Beyoncé (Janell Hobson) 11

Beyoncé as Intersectional Icon? Interrogating the Politics of Respectability (Marla H. Kohlman) 27

Beyoncé as Aggressive Black Femme and Informed Black Female Subject (Anne M. Mitchell) 40

Policing Beyoncé’s Body: “Whose Body Is This Anyway?” (Noel Siqi Duan) 55

I’m Not Myself Lately: The Erosion of the Beyoncé Brand (Kristin Lieb) 75

The Visual Album: Beyoncé, Feminism and Digital Spaces (Jamila A. Cupid and Nicole ­Files-Thompson) 94

Beyoncé and Social Media: Authenticity and the Presentation of Self (Melissa Avdeeff) 109

Flawless Feminist or Fallible Freak? An Analysis of Feminism, Empowerment and Gender in Beyoncé’s Lyrics (Tia C.M. Tyree and Melvin L. Williams) 124

Birthing Baby Blue: Beyoncé and the Changing Face of Celebrity Birth Culture (Natalie Jolly) 143

Beyoncé and Blue: Black Motherhood and the Binds of Racialized Sexism (Sonita R. Moss) 155

BDSM, Gazes and Wedding Rings: The Centering of Black Female Pleasure and Agency in Beyoncé (Evette Dionne Brown) 177

Creole Queen: Beyoncé and Performing Plaçage in the New Millennium (Kimberly J. Chandler) 193

Sex(uality), Marriage, Motherhood and “Bey Feminism” (Elizabeth Whittington Cooper) 203

About the Contributors 215

Index 219

Book Reviews & Awards

“This collection provides innovative, and necessary, analyses of an icon, her life and work, and the systemic contexts and relationships associated with black womanhood, black femininity, and black feminism.”—Journal of American Culture.