Beyoncé has just finished her spot on the GQ front page as one of their ‘100 sexiest women of the 21st century’. Now, there are rumours that Alicia Keys will be the next black woman to be on the cover. This can only mean one thing; appearance is everything in music even if you have two of the strongest female voices in the current music industry.
Both Beyoncé and Alicia Keys have never shyed away from strong, powerful ballads that encourage women to be who they want to be without feeling the need to change themselves. Alicia Keys sang ‘Superwoman’ which was a wonderful anthem that aimed to unite women everywhere so that they could stand strong together. Beyoncé has sung ‘Independent Women’ with Destiny’s Child (who are coming back together…are you as excited as I am?) and ‘Irreplaceable’ which was possibly the biggest female empowerment anthem in 2006.
I have often seen both these artists as role models as it was apparent that it was their voice that helped them build a career. Of course, it helped that they are both beautiful women and great performers, but they were able to make great comebacks as they were remembered for their great musical stylings.
So, it is a shame when Beyoncé and Alicia Keys feel the need to be on the cover of GQ in a ‘nearly naked’ pose to attract some more male votes. Beyoncé’s shoot moves the attention away from what she actually is… a powerful singer. Couldn’t it have been more tasteful like the GQ Cheryl Cole shoot who showed that you can be sexy without taking your clothes off? A comeback doesn’t have to involve a raunchy ‘let’s strip off’ magazine shoot. You could open a concert, wear a show-stopping dress to an awards ceremony or do something mind-blowing for charity. Many people praise these two artists for looking so good after a baby. And so maybe they should show of their bodies as it will also empower other mums to look this good after giving birth. But if you had their money and trainers, then wouldn’t you look that good too?
But, maybe there is another message that comes out of this raunchy shoot; it is incredibly hard to be a woman in the music industry even if you’re a powerful performer like Beyoncé. And that is the saddest part of it all. Even though both these artists will continue to belt out beautiful songs, they will always need to use their looks which will not last forever. This is the biggest challenge in the music industry and things don’t look like they are getting any better yet. Women should be celebrated for their intelligence, beauty and their achievements not their cleavage or their back.