Breaking Stereotypes With Beauty Icon Beyoncé

by Charlene Flanagan

When I was little, I was conditioned to believe that a certain skin color was perhaps prettier than another. In my defense, I was a child and I was shown animated fairytales of princesses with fair skin and golden hair. Even villains were quoted as saying “Who’s the fairest of them all?” Of course, television did nothing to change that notion. And then in came Destiny’s Child, stomping their way on the music scene. Beyoncé, Kelly and Michelle sang tunes of empowerment and positive body image that I, of course, was still too young to fully appreciate. But, that didn’t stop me from singing and dancing to their music.

The trio went their separate ways over time, but their legacy lives on and it gave rise to one of the biggest popstars of the 21st century with lead singer Beyoncé ricocheting to success. Today, she's recognized as one of the most beautiful and talented women in the music business. She is a 16-time Grammy winner, a Golden Globe-nominated actress, and even features at #29 on the Forbes list of The World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities—all accolades one can only dream of.

Among other things, Bey plays fashion muse for the House of Deréon, has fragrances to her name, and is one part of the billion dollar power couple that is Jay-Z and Queen B. Phew. We hope there's not a speck of doubt why we've decided to profile the beauty icon this Black History Month after that long list of achievements.

Now, as a business woman, she's a source for inspiration for many, but it's the way she broke stereotypes and empowered girls with a positive body image that will be one of her greatest achievements. Beautiful from the inside, and out, here's why we will never stop loving our Bey.

Agent Of Social Change
Before we touch upon the superficial, let’s take a deeper look at what makes Beyoncé such an inspiring force. As a woman of color, it could not have been easy for her to deal with the conventional version of 'pretty' the world was endorsing when she first hit the scene. She has openly spoken about dealing with body image issues and definitely felt the pressure of unrealistic expectations. “We do not value ourselves enough. Especially young people, [who] don’t really appreciate, how brilliant our bodies are. I’ve always been very, very specific, and very choosy—very choosy—about what I do with my body, and who I want to share that with,” she said in her short film Yours And Mine, a clip packed with feminism and the will to change perceptions.

Bey's song Pretty Hurts, beautifully captures this innate flaw which focuses on the perils of our superficial society which unfairly judges women based on appearances alone. 

"Mama said, "You're a pretty girl.
What's in your head, it doesn't matter
Brush your hair, fix your teeth.
What you wear is all that matters."

Just one of the many stanzas that hit home for so many women across the world who struggle with skin color, body weight, aging lines, and contemplate surgical enhancements to fit the mould of idealistic perfection.

And of course, then there's Formation, the music video that featured mean-spirited stereotypes associated with black people, and how they've for long tried to hide their natural feautres, including afros, noses, and lips to fit in with the conventional concept of beauty.

I think she changed the question that (re)defined girl power: "Who's the strongest of them all?" Strength, not just in one's physicality, but that of a disciplined life, an entreprenurial mind, an independent zeal, and an understanding of one's responsibility. Beyoncé's career success and rise to the top resonates even long after her last or latest album.

Times have certainly changed, and Beyoncé's played her part in being an instrument of that change. To that, we raise a toast and grant her the throne of Queen B, because she's made a remarkable and very personal contribution in the lives of women around the world.

Hair & Makeup By Beyoncé
Naturally, we're going to touch upon the beauty secrets of this beauty icon, gathering all the little nuggets of information she and her makeup artist have shared with the press over the years. Her flawless glow, honey-toned skin, and inherent radiance can be accredited to these little tips:

  • The singer's makeup artist Sir John Barnett recommends applying eye cream on the entire face, and using face cream for the rest of the body. The former contains smaller, more delicate particles that are easily absorbed by the skin, which makes them more effective for the face. On the other hand, face creams deliver the right nutrients to the skin on your body with ease for the same reasons.
  • The singer drinks a lot of natural beverages whisked up with kale which is packed with vitamin K that helps reduce dark circles, and the appearance of aging lines. Vitamin C boosts collagen production and treats sun damage, while vitamin A promotes cell renewal. 
  • For a quick spa detox, the singer said she uses the Ocean Sea Salt Scrub by Carol’s Daughter while taking a dip in the tub at home, in an interview with Allure. She also loves Smith's Rosebud Salve (lip balm): "I did this trick last summer, when I was on vacation. I used it to prime my lashes before curling. It was like a natural mascara. It made the lashes hold the curl and look shiny. I use it for everything!”

Locks & Curls
Growing up with a mother who owned her own hair salon, Beyoncé does have a strong foundation when it comes to beauty, and hasn’t failed to wow the world with the evolution of her hairstyles. “I’m still always doing something to my hair—cutting layers, or bleaching it, or taking it upon myself to copy fashionable hairstyles without knowing the necessary techniques.” However, her favorite do is to go with natural curls, minus the tongs and heating rods for that perfectly imperfect bedhead look.

Inside Bey's Makeup Kit

  • Lubriderm Daily Moisture
  • Maybelline Great Lash Mascara
  • Nars Blush 
  • L’Oreal Paris Elnett Hairspray 
  • SK-II Facial Treatment Essence
  • Dior Addict Gloss

Images Via Instagram/Beyoncé

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