On September 10, 2016, the queen of pop will be coming to
St. Louis as part of her Formation World Tour. Twenty-somethings and older will
remember Beyoncé breaking onto the national scene in late twentieth century
with the all-female group Destiny's Child. Songs like "Bills, Bills,
Bills," "Survivor," and "Jumpin'" showcased women who
said what they wanted to say, how they wanted to say it, to the person who they
wanted to say it to. Unapologetically independent women everywhere had found a
While the group dissolved, Beyoncé remained front and
center. Her lyrics have stayed fiercely feminist, addressing power dynamics and
cultural norms in a way that her contemporaries shy away from. She explained,
saying, "We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves.
We have to step up as women and take the lead." The music video for the
song "If I Were a Boy" (2009) tells the story of a couple's crumbling
relationship by swapping the traditional gender roles to portray the different
standards to which the sexes are held. In the same album, she sings about breaking up with
an unfaithful partner, shattering the usual victim role by belting out a power
ballad reminding him that not only is he replaceable, but he can't keep the car she gave him. She didn't stop there. With
"Who Run the World" (2011), Beyoncé gave voice to a generation of women
who are not only told they can take over the world, but who are actually doing
it. Followers of the "Lean In" movement rejoiced with the snarky
lyric, "I hope you still like me... F you, pay me."
Catchy and timeless, her songs inspire. She took this talent
into politics to bolster Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative,
creating a song and dance moves that get kids up and moving. In fact, the St. Louis City Health Department
has incorporated this song and the associated dance moves into its programming
to help kids embrace movement and physical activity through dance. Her
charitable contributions include the self-started "Survivor Fund,"
which helped victims of Hurricane Katrina, Oxfam, and dozens more.
Beyonce is a cultural icon. She has survived
nearly 20 years of being in the spotlight, cultivating a following that spans
generations, gender, and ethnicity. Soon, she will bring her tour to St. Louis.
And, if one thing is true, she's going to slay.