Entertainment Beyoncé is a paradox. That’s what makes her an icon.

15:47  17 april  2018
15:47  17 april  2018 Source:   Vox.com

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In response to the new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit featuring “ iconic ” Beyoncé costumes, New York Times critic Vanessa Friedman argues that although Beyoncé may be a pop culture icon , she doesn’t actually merit the title of “fashion icon .”

critic Vanessa Friedman recently penned a column that illustrates why Beyoncé isn’t a fashion icon , and—we have to admit— she makes some good points. But what the Beyoncé Paradox suggests is that this may not, in fact, be entirely true. Because lose the ‘fashion,’ and what do you have left? Icon .

a person standing in the dark © Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella

Beyoncé woke up like this (flawless) and works hard (grinds till she owns it). The contradiction makes her great.

There are two lyrics in Beyoncé’s oeuvre that sum up the paradox that makes her so astonishingly compelling.

The first is from 2013’s “Flawless:” “I woke up like this, I woke up like this / We flawless, ladies tell ’em.”

INDIO, CA - APRIL 14:  Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella) © Getty INDIO, CA - APRIL 14: Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)

The second is from 2016’s “Formation:” “I see it, I want it, I stunt, yellow bone it / I dream it, I work hard, I grind till I own it.”

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The Beyonce paradox : Is she really a fashion icon ? Photo: Adrian Dennis. If fact, let’ s call it the Beyoncé Paradox . And here’ s the thing: I think it is actually a construct. One that has been strategically made .

Part of the paradox of Beyonce is that her icon status seems to have created a type of bullet-proof veneer that insulates her from criticism. This gospel message that society has projected onto Beyoncé – made in our own image– is a message we have made her have.

Beyoncé is effortless, flawless perfection. And Beyoncé is endless effort, grinding labor, working hard until she achieves her goals.

Practically speaking, both can’t be true: You can’t be both effortlessly perfect and someone who puts in the work for perfection. But what makes Beyoncé great is that she makes both feel true. 

INDIO, CA - APRIL 14:  Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella ) © Getty INDIO, CA - APRIL 14: Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella )

Beyoncé personifies effort and effortlessness simultaneously

In her breathtaking, momentous performance at Coachella this past weekend, Beyoncé never once let her audience forget how much work she was putting into what they were seeing, how it was her labor and exertion that built that two hours of practically nonstop song and dance.

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Beyonce Paradox . 4/18/2012. Her body like most performing artists is on display and she makes no apologies for dressing "provocatively" or sexy and has even celebrated the fact that she enjoys her curvy figure with songs like, "Bootylicious."

Beyoncé is the readymade who seemingly gets us closest to a vision of black female agency, black female pleasure. However, the paradox and the danger of the icon is that it obscures as much as it Is that girl making a claim on me? Is she soliciting a different kind of response from me as a viewer?

As Jon Caramanica at the New York Times put it, “Beyoncé shows her work — the cameras captured the force and determination in her dancing, and also her sweat.”

(Beyonce & Yodeling Kid Most Tweeted Artists of Coachella) Billboard News


TMZ reported that she was working 11-hour days to prepare for the big night, and every second of that rehearsal time showed onstage.

But even while the audience marveled at the work and sweat Beyoncé put into what she was doing onstage, simultaneously it was possible to feel that it all just emerged from her with no real work on her part, that it was as unthought and natural as breathing. “The thing is, Beyonce did wake up like this,” the Guardian marveled.

Beyoncé makes it possible for her audience to understand her both as the hardest-working woman in the business and as someone who does not need to work because of her natural perfection. She is effort and effortlessness all at once. Call it the Bey Paradox.

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Beyonce is not iconic . She ’ s a great singer and she ’ s a great performer. But she ’ s not a black-and-white poster icon . It’ s been almost ten years since B launched herself as a solo artist, yet it’ s almost impossible to point out anything unique that applies to her .

Beyoncé : Not a Fashion Icon ? By The Good Guys · On July 30, 2014. The questioning of Beyoncé ’ s influence on fashion spurred after her history making exhibit at the Rock and Friedman concludes, “But what the Beyoncé Paradox suggests is that this may not, in fact, be entirely true.

INDIO, CA - APRIL 14:  Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella ) © Getty INDIO, CA - APRIL 14: Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella )

If a star can reconcile a paradox, she can become an icon

One of the things that separates a star who will fade from an icon who will last is this: Icons can reconcile a major cultural paradox through the power of their images. A star is a person onto whom the rest of us project all of our fantasies and fears, so when the star is able to resolve one of those fears, to make us feel that it is meaningless and insignificant just for as long as we’re looking at them, we love them for it. We turn them into icons.

Marilyn Monroe sitting on a bench posing for the camera © Provided by Vox.com Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe is the prime example here. Marilyn was both pure sex and pure innocence at once, in a time that was profoundly anxious about sex and women’s bodies. You didn’t need to be worried about whether sex was corrupt or dirty when you looked at Marilyn because she made sex feel innocent just by existing as Marilyn.

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Dubbing it the " Beyoncé Paradox ", Friedman argued that it' s this refusal to lend her face, her personal brand to apparel companies that has kept Bey from becoming a fashion icon in the way that Rihanna or even Miley Cyrus has become.

When I Googled the term today, the first news article that came up was about Kendall Jenner’ s recent interview with Harper’ s Bazaar in which she gushed about her sister Kim Kardashian' s style, saying that she “could be a major fashion icon .” So why isn’t she ?

Today, you might think of Angelina Jolie, who is both a sex symbol and a mother figure, or Oprah, who is both our wise, empathetic, and selfless best friend and a brilliant businesswoman mogul: They have resolved a contradiction that we don’t like, and because of that we love them.

a group of people standing in a room: 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 1 - Day 2 © Provided by Vox.com 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 1 - Day 2

The Bey Paradox does the kind of work that made Marilyn Monroe an icon. It takes one of the major questions our culture frets over — Should women be naturally beautiful/good at their work/perfect in general? Or should they take pride in working hard and earning their perfection? — and it answers, yes. Both. Natural perfection and high-maintenance perfectionism, both at the same time.

Beyoncé dreams it and works hard, and then she wakes up flawless. That’s what makes her Queen Bey.

Beyoncé's incredible career (Photo Services)

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