Beyonce and her blonde wig cover the new issue of Out Magazine. It’s a surprising choice for Beyonce, who basically has done NO magazine promotion for her album thus far. I remember her last album and the promotion – Beyonce was all over the place, on cover after cover after cover, and she really oversaturated the market then. I like that she’s changing it up, and I think it’s cool that she did an Out cover. You can read Out’s profile here – she really did allow the magazine into her inner sanctum. Some highlights from the interview:
On the album being one of her most sexually liberated projects: “I’d like to believe that my music opened up that conversation. There is unbelievable power in ownership, and women should own their sexuality. There is a double standard when it comes to sexuality that still persists. Men are free and women are not. That is crazy. The old lessons of submissiveness and fragility made us victims. Women are so much more than that. You can be a businesswoman, a mother, an artist, and a feminist – whatever you want to be – and still be a sexual being. It’s not mutually exclusive.
On the rawness of her voice in the song “XO”: “When I recorded “XO” I was sick with a bad sinus infection. I recorded it in a few minutes just as a demo and decided to keep the vocals. I lived with most of the songs for a year and never re-recorded the demo vocals. I really loved the imperfections, so I kept the original demos. I spent the time I’d normally spend on backgrounds and vocal production on getting the music perfect. There were days I spend solely on getting the perfect mix of sounds for the snare alone. Discipline, patience, control, truth, risk, and effortlessness were all things I thought about while I was putting this album together.
On the numerous groups, including the LGBT community, that identify with the lyrics of her fifth album: “While I am definitely conscious of all the different types of people who listen to my music, I really set out to make the most personal, honest, and best album I could make. I needed to free myself from the pressures and expectations of what I thought I should say or be, and just speak from the heart. Being that I am a woman in a male-dominated society, the feminist mentality rang true to me and became a way to personalize that struggle…But what I’m really referring to, and hoping for, is human rights and equality, not just that between a woman and a man. So I’m very happy if my words can ever inspire or empower someone who considers themselves an oppressed minority…We are all the same and we all want the same things: the right to be happy, to be just who we want to be and to love who we want to love.
On her worries as she neared the completion of the album and prepared for its release: “I was recording, shooting videos, and performing on the tour every night, all at the same time. At some point I felt like, What am I doing? Is this too ambitious? Even the day the record was to be released I was scared to death. But I also knew if I was that scared, something big was about to happen.
I remember a time when Beyonce didn’t really want to speak up for her LGBT fans, so it’s nice that she’s evolved to the point where she’s talking about human rights and equality explicitly. As for her feminism… I don’t have a huge problem with it. I loathe the flame wars between women about how feminism should be defined and which woman has the “wrong” definition of feminism. If Beyonce considers herself a feminist then so be it. Good for her. I think this is her strongest feminist statement: “You can be a businesswoman, a mother, an artist, and a feminist – whatever you want to be – and still be a sexual being. It’s not mutually exclusive.” Truth.
Photos courtesy of Out.