Beyonce's Sex-Fueled Halftime Show Was Empowering for Girls & Boys

BeyonceBeyonce's halftime show at the Super Bowl was the kind of performance dreams are made on. It was electrifying (um, literally), riveting, and basically everything that a Super Bowl halftime show should be. So why are some people getting down on Beyonce as a bad role model for kids just because the show had some sexy parts?

The critics say that the sexy costumes and the sex-fueled lyrics make her a "bad role model" for girls, and I get that. Certainly, as the mother of a daughter, I worry about the saturation of sexy in the media, and there is a very real push toward sexiness for younger and younger girls.

But that doesn't apply in this case. Beyonce is in her 30s. She is a mother. She looks fantastic. She has built an empire and knows how to sell herself. So what is so wrong with a little sexiness? I would never tell my daughter she has to button herself down if she feels good about herself.


It's all about presentation, and in Beyonce's case, it's a fantastic one. She knows what she is doing. To me, that is the difference between empowered sexuality and sexuality at the behest of handlers.

Britney Spears or young Miley Cyrus may be bad role models because they are using their young, tender sexuality and pole dancing at the behest of cynical men who think it sells.

But there is something different about a woman who knows what she is doing and feels strong about herself and uses that to her advantage. Sex is a huge part of being a human adult and I would never want my daughter -- or my son -- to feel otherwise.

That is the kind of sexuality I would want for them. They know what they want. They are confident. They know how to say no. Beyonce isn't the kind of woman who is wearing a bikini for someone else's pleasure. She is doing that for her own pleasure. Because it feels good. Because she is BEYONCE.

So what's the matter with that?

People need to get over the idea that sexuality is shocking or demeaning. She was dressed skimpily and not embarrassed about it. As a feminist mom, I want my daughter and my son to have good sex lives at some point. I want them both to feel good about their bodies and their looks and know how to say no when they need to and yes when they want to.

I want my daughter to know that being a feminist doesn't mean locking her body away in a chastity belt. It doesn't mean never having sex and only focusing on "non-sexual" pursuits.

I want my son to know that women are allowed to be sexy AND strong. That he doesn't have to see women as objects or as virgins. That same woman he has sex with is ALSO someone with whom he can discuss business ventures and read The New York Times every morning.

It's not either/or, people. Beyonce shows us that. And yes, that makes her a damn good role model.

Did Beyonce's show bother you?


Image via Ezra Shaw/Getty

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