Friday, December 13, 2013

VIDEO - Beyoncé "Flawless" featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Beyonce has just released her fifth studio album which has 31 tracks (14 songs and 17 videos) and is titled Beyoncé. Beyonce also featured Chimamanda Adichie's TED speech on feminism and the women's societal roles in one of the tracks - Flawless. See the official preview video below, reminds me of Who Run the World from her last album. Can't wait to listen to the full songs. Congrats to both women, feminists rock!

The Guardian provides a refresher on Chimamanda's speech, "We should all be feminists", and the parts of that were sampled by Beyonce in Flawless.

"We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls 'You can have ambition, but not too much'."

During the speech, the Orange prize-winning author argues that differing expectations of men and women damage economic and social prospects in Nigeria, and more generally around Africa and the world.

Beyoncé has been particularly inspired by sections where Adichie explores attitudes towards marriage, sampling a passage where the novelist talks directly about aspirations.

"Because I am a female, I am expected to aspire to marriage," Adichie says. "I am expected to make my choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Marriage can be... a source of joy and love and mutual support. But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don't teach boys the same?"

Another section sampled on ***Flawless argues that girls are raised "to see each other as competitors, not for jobs or accomplishments which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men".

Beyoncé has also used lines from a part of the speech where Adichie queries parents' attitudes towards young people's sexuality:

"We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. If we have sons, we don't mind knowing about our sons' girlfriends, but our daughters' boyfriends? God forbid. But of course when the time is right we expect those girls to bring back the perfect man to be their husband.

The pop diva quotes Adichie's definition of a feminist as "a person who believes in the social, economic and political equality of the sexes".

Over the course of the 30-minute speech, the novelist argues that we do "a great disservice" to boys in how we raise them, putting them in the "hard cage" of masculinity; and that we do "a greater disservice" to girls.

"We say to girls, you should aim to be successful, but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten The Man."
Photograph: Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters


  1. Kudos but for me a strange collabo because Beyonce's feminism is very different from Chimamandas. But what do I know?

  2. I am particularly excited about this as they are both my mentors! Yet to watch the video because it's really late and my eyes are getting heavy but I must congratulate Chimamanda as she is one of my mentors in the literature world. (Good work doesn't go unseen.) I am also happy Beyonce saw her work and thought it useful as Beyonce is one of my mentors in the celeb world. (She is a combo of beauty, talents and hard work).

  3. If there's one thing I like Beyonce for, she's not ashamed to show it when someone inspires her. I hope proper permissions were used and Chimamanda I'm sure will be gracious and appreciate the compliment paid by the sampling.

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