Beyonce Channels Marilyn Monroe on Out Power Issue Cover, Explains Her Feminism
Beyonce covers the Power Issue of Out, channeling Marilyn Monroe and discussing her sometimes-challenged feminist politics.
Bey nabbing this particular cover is no surprise. The singer pulled the ultimate power move in December, releasing her fifth album without utilizing any traditional marketing means and vehicles. She handed it off to the Beyhive and changed the game for herself.
With her platinum waves and glowing skin, not to mention that neck bling, Bey is beautiful as ever.
However, the feature did not consist of a face-to-face chat. Usually, a live interview with a mag’s cover subject is customary. But this is Bey’s world. She instead corresponded with the magazine via email and allowed unprecedented access to her Parkwood Entertainment company.
That’s no small consolation prize, either. That’s Bey’s inner sanctum and is comprised of those closest to her. So that’s like having a front row seat to Bey’s world.
Bey did address her choice to release the album on her terms, with no industry fanfare, saying it was “much freer than anything I’d done in the past. We really just tried to trust our instincts, embrace the moment, and keep it fun.”
Despite her flawless image, Bey revealed that she liked the imperfections in some of the ‘Beyonce’ demos.
“When I recorded ‘XO,’ I was sick with a bad sinus infection,” she recalled, explaining the process in the exchange. “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 rerecorded 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 spent 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.”
Bey’s feminist politics were also a topic of discussion. The singer is all about girl power and female empowerment, but her stances are not without their detractors. Many critics took issue with the song ‘Bow Down’ and a controversial lyric in one of her songs pertaining to Tina Turner and her abusive relationship with Ike.
When discussing sexuality, Bey said, “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.”
She is right there!
Bey wanted to take the power back with her fifth album, which was an inherently feminist move. However, the singer was in a position to do so. She had the wherewithall and the history to allow her to do so. But she also had more to lose than a younger artist.
“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,” she said. “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.”
That last statement there embodies why she was chosen to cover Out and its Power Issue.