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3 Reasons Beyoncé Isn’t Empowering to Women

By: Kristen Clark

Her larger-than-life persona, bold music, and powerful stage presence have crowned this woman as the epitome of modern girl power. She’s praised by millions as one of the most inspirational women of our day.

She is Beyoncé. Also referred to as, Queen Bey.

This female superstar has not only become an icon, she has been carefully and strategically crafted into a brand. And this brand is considered empowering to women.

Millions of females (young and old) view her as their greatest role model in life.

“I want to be just like her,” many girls have said. “I would die to talk to her!,” women have stated.

But do we want to be just like Beyoncé? Do we really love everything about this iconic woman?

I’m typically not a fan of writing about popular celebrities on this blog, but due to the overabundance of praise from Christian girls surrounding Beyoncé and her music, I couldn’t keep silent.

This blog post isn’t intended to attack Beyoncé (I obviously don’t personally know her), but to throw a flag on the field of our iconic worship and say, wait – are we sure about this?

And since this female superstar is praised by almost everyone – her actions, words and dance moves carry a powerful influence.

Rather than jumping into this popular current, we need to take a step back and carefully, biblically, and intelligently examine what we’re being fed.

From what I’ve read, researched, and observed about the Beyoncé brand, I would be so bold as to say she isn’t actually empowering women in the long run. Not truly.

Some of her most “inspiring quotes” include the following…  

“I’m over being a pop star. I don’t wanna be a hot girl. I wanna be iconic.”

“Power’s not given to you. You have to take it.”

“Take all the rules away. How can we live if we don’t change?”

Beyoncé’s music might be catchy to some, but her worldview and message is toxic to God’s definition for true womanhood. Her music, actions, and interviews portray a strong belief in one thing – herself.

Queen Bey is on the throne of her life and there is no room left for God.

As outlined in our book Girl Defined, here are 3 reasons I believe Beyoncé isn’t empowering women, but harming them.  

1. Sexual Freedom is Praised.

From her dance moves, to her outfits, to her lyrics – this girl is all about sexual freedom. Everything about the Beyoncé brand has been hyper-sexualized. Her message is clear: true girl power comes when we embrace the freedom to do whatever we want with our bodies.

But does buying into this idea of sexual freedom really empower women?

The answer is no.

The more women have embraced their “sexual freedom” the more problems and baggage we’ve accumulated. Teenage pregnancies are skyrocketing, abortions have become a “necessity,” depression is common, anorexia plagues millions of women, and the average female is totally discontent with her body.

Freedom? I don’t think so. “Take all the rules away…” and everything falls apart.

2. Liberation is Encouraged.  

The message Beyoncé portrays is clear: women need to be liberated. But liberated from what? “Primarily free from roles in marriage. Free from the differences between men and women. Free from the Bible’s teachings on gender” (Girl Defined).

Without God on the throne, she decides what is best for herself. And in her world, a liberated woman is an empowered woman.

Unfortunately, the minute you ditch God’s design for the male and female genders, you open yourself up to a world of chaos. Women don’t know how to be women anymore. Men don’t know how to be men anymore.

Families are strained and hurting because men and women have no understanding of their God-defined roles.

Rather than men and women working together as a unified team, we have been pitted against one another. Rather than cultivating an attitude of love and selflessness, we are being taught to embrace an attitude of narcissistic autonomy.

The more we embrace our liberation, the more we fan the flames of brokenness.

3. Total Independence is Worshipped.

Independence has become a word that is basically worshiped among modern women. Beyoncé herself said, “I felt like it was time to set up my future, so I set a goal. My goal was independence.”

Beyoncé proudly praises the idea of total independence for women. The idea that we, as women, don’t need anybody…including God. We run the show. We call all the shots. We are the boss of our lives. This mentality pushes God off of His throne, and seats us front and center.

This is not God’s best for us.  

God designed us to function best when we’re living within a community that needs one another. A community that depends on one another. That serves one another. And when it comes to marriage, God created husbands and wives to live in an interdependent relationship with one another (Eph. 5).

Total independence may look glamorous, but it is a lonely, sad existence. We were created for community. We were created for marital unity and dependency. We were created to need each other.

Beyoncé may be one of the most famous female superstars of our time, but the messages flowing from her music (and life) are completely contrary to God’s Word.

And the more we buy into these popular, yet drastically false messages, the more broken and hopeless we will be as women. 

Our only hope is to ditch the glitz and glam, and instead embrace a more fulfilling design for womanhood. A design that empowers us to live our lives with confidence and boldness for God’s glory, not our own. A design that is handcrafted by our Creator for our good.

For more on the topic of God-defined womanhood, I can’t encourage you enough to grab a copy of Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity.

Let’s chat below.

  • Why do you think Beyoncé has become a superstar in our modern culture?
  • In what ways have you bought into the lies of sexual freedom, liberation, and total independence?

Photo Credit: Here

Beyonce's face

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  • Giselle

    Beyoncé is not only considered an icon, she’s literally idolized for millions of women around the world, as if she was God – and to some extent, she’s really the god in lots of people lives. I think that reflects our self-absorded, human-centered culture, in which people build altars and idols and worship them, because those human-idols represent their idea of perfection, fullfilment, power, total freedom. And just like you say, God makes us a completely different offer.

    It’s so problematic to think about this because that’s exactly satan has been offering to people since the start of time: ‘you wanna be powerful, independent, do you wanna have it all? take this fruit, bow down and worship me, forget about God, what I’ve got to you is better, you can be your own god’ and so many fall for this, even christian women. We need to pray for our generation so we can learn to reach for the only living God and make him the Lord of ours lives.

    • Katerine

      It is not surprising that so many people are inspired by men and women who are famous, beautiful (it’s subjective of course), acknowledged, admired and powerful. That is how God has made us! Of course, not for earthly fame, beauty, recognition and glory, but by creating us, God has a plan for nothing less than being one with us, giving us His Life and Love, so we can be eternally happy! We don’t BECOME God, but by giving Himself completely to each of us, He does glorify us! He is glorified through each of us becoming fully ourselves and fully alive with His Life!

      Even when we don’t know are when we refuse God, we still have those God-given desires that only Himself can answer. No wonder we try desperately to fulfill them with something else…

  • I didn’t really know anything about Beyoncé before I read this article, and now I don’t care to.(:

    • Sarah A.

      Same

    • Rebekah Teravskis

      Me too!

    • Heather Hemsley

      SAME

    • GraceofGod

      Agreed

  • JustBabs

    And therez a ‘beehive’ that attacks anyone who attacks – wee need to avoid idolizing anyone – it’s worse whe Christians idolize people in the world – instead of being concerned about their lost souls. We should also be careful not to idolize Christian leaders – honor them but not idolize – #no other god before Him

  • vwlover

    It’s really sad how some women (and men) idolize her and other celebrities. Some people have called her Beysus! That is blasphemous and not cute at all! We as Christians have to be careful with what we listen to, read and watch.

    • Colleen

      Yes, we do need to be careful what we fill our minds with!

  • Colleen

    Really enjoyed this post! So full of truth!

  • Jack Medaris

    Maybe what makes someone feel genuinely empowered doesn’t make you feel the same way, and that’s alright. Maybe what makes you feel empowered doesn’t make someone else feel that way. That’s alright too. But people aren’t the same, and to say that there is only one way to find power and all other ways are inherently wrong is arrogant.

    • Forgive me if I misunderstand you, but are you saying that it’s perfectly okay for her to feel empowered in being held up as an idol, to dance the way she dances and to live the way she lives? The way she makes herself feel empowered goes against everything the Bible teaches us and that’s what makes it wrong.

      • Jack Medaris

        Beyoncé is admired and loved by many. But no one would seriously say she is a goddess. They might joke about it, but at the heart of the matter she is telling women that they are enough. That their, your, existence is a story meant to be proud of. That’s different from saying you’re perfect. It’s saying that you deserve to be here and that you are not helpless to the challenges you face. And that might scare you, but to many girls that is something they need to hear. She is not telling you what path to take, she is saying that you’re at a starting point and you can take it from here in whatever way you want.

        • Hannah

          I’m sorry you think this way but I totally disagree. Women are not enough in and of themselves. Every human being needs Christ. And you don’t deserve anything. There is nothing in yourself alone to be proud of. God brought you in existence itself and since then every gift you have is a result of Him. Girls need to hear that without Christ and His salvation life is pointless. I don’t mean to sound so blunt but there’s really no other way of putting it. Without God life has no meaning. I hope people realize that while they still can.

  • Rebekah Teravskis

    Thank you Kristen! This is a great blog. We as Christian women need to be careful in allowing completely non-Christian women to be our role models and idols. We need to have the Bible as our guide and strong Christian women as our support team and role models. It is time for Christian men and women everywhere to wake up and realize how much we are letting the world influence our lives and our Christian walk. Great job Kristen! Thank you for taking a stand.

  • Kelsey Koonce

    Great post! From what I’ve heard lately about Beyonce to me it’s sad. Her bringing the mothers of the Movement and her VMA performance, just for entertainment and in a way her own gain. It’s sad. Has she given these mothers genuine support and care other than inviting them to the VMA s to have their picture taken with her in front of all those cameras?

  • Monty

    Kristen while I agree with you totally, I also stepped back and looked at Beyonce contextually for a moment to potentially see things from her perspective. It could be that her “messages” (not dance moves or minimalistic clothing choices) are intended to empower women who have traditionally come from a culture of use and abuse. A culture where men have had little accountability for their actions and left women to carry the load of raising the next generation alone and far before they are ready.

    She seems to have turned to self-sufficiency for as her source of strength. What doesn’t hold together for me about her brand is why she would disrespect her body for the sake of “empowerment” when all it does is reduce her to an object that attracts the very behavior from which women in her culture are trying to be free? We don’t truly know her heart but she does seem to be very confused about the source from which real power and freedom are found and how to truly empower women to be who they are called to be. Great post!!!

  • Lorrayya Williams

    While I agree beyonce isn’t the best role model, I do think it is okay for women to have control over their own life. Yes, we depend on each other no woman is an island, but you also have to figure somethings out on your own. For me, I am very career-orientated and independent, because GOd gave me a dream and a purpose that will or won’t involve a man either way I can take care of myself. Part of God’s plan for me (or at least where I feel him leading towards involves leadership and being independent.

    I believe her music is telling women to be independent from need to be taken care of by a man. To be able to go after their purpose even if that means being single and without a husband. You don’t and shouldn’t need a man to fufill God’s purpose for your life. I think that is her main point. In that sense women do need to be liberated, so they can provide for themselves and seek God in singleness without constantly worrying about having a man take care of them.

    Her message isn’t all bad or all good. If you think about it, you just have to go through it with a fine tooth comb to gain the good.

  • Funmi

    Wow Kristen! The boldness and courage with which this post is written is absolutely remarkable. That’s what I love about GirlDefined, you girls are not afraid to speak the truth even if it is radically countercultural and unpopular! Right on!

  • Anne Isabelle

    Oh my goodness THANK YOU Kristen for sharing this article with us!!!! As a teen surrounded by all this self praise and self absorbency, it is such a blessing to find this– standing up for what is pure and right and holy. It is hard not to fall into the trap of the world where, like you said, it is all about me and my feelings and what I think; but we have to press on and trust
    God every day, to keep him at the center! Once again, many thanks for this reminder <3

  • Heather Hemsley

    AMEN KRISTEN!

  • Danielle

    Kristen, thank you for sharing! I have been tempted on many occasions to talk on this subject. It breaks my heart and stirs a righteous anger to see all of the glory and praise that Beyonce gets, that really belongs to God. I feel even more angry when I see Christians supporting her music, which goes against the Word of God and glorifies all of the sin that Jesus went on the cross for. People so easily believe that Beyonce presents a strong and positive image for women when in fact she tears us down by teaching us that success and empowerment is found in sensuality, taking off our clothes and making money. I pray that people’s eyes will be opened.

  • Dana

    A few years ago she admitted to being possessed by a spirit guide Sasha Fierce. Very sad!

  • Aria

    I really like this post! I have a request for another post, and I completely understand if you don’t want to do it. But could you right about all the problems with race?

  • Nikole, God’s child

    I don’t know a whole lot about Beyoncé but I saw one music video and she seemed like the only person (besides the security guards) who didn’t want to be there. She seemed sad and empty despite the smile on her face. I almost started crying.

  • Audrey

    Good article! But I would like to point out that teen pregnancy has in general been in decline since the 1990s according to the Pew Research Center.

  • Candace

    Honestly, this is why I go farther and farther away from this cult called “Christianity”. What is wrong with women wanting to be liberated? What is wrong with women wanting to be INDEPENDENT? What is wrong with women wanting sexual freedom? Honestly the more I read up on being a woman in the bible it makes me resent the word more and more.

    • Kayla

      My thoughts on this…the reason a lot of people resent the word isn’t because it’s wrong. It’s because it’s right. Because we were born in a sin nature with desires that go against God and were being fed lies everyday about how being liberated and sexually free satisfies and fulfills, we don’t like being told that we are wrong. We want things our way. That’s why doing what’s right is so hard…our natural desires want to do it our way and do what we can to get away with it..but that won’t fulfil…the good news is that God fulfill and satisfies! He loves you so much and shows us how to live because he knows what it’s like out there and he wants to spare us all the pain and heartache that go along with our cultures views. I’m in no way writing this to ‘condemn’ you. I struggle with things too and I know what it’s like to have certain desires that I can’t seem to fulfil. It’s rlly rlly easy to turn to what the culture says…after all, we see it everyday and everyone else seems to be doing it. But let me tell you, only when you fully give your life to God and choose to live a life of love and selflessness, will you be truly satisfied. I’ll pray for you! And I understand where you’re coming from…I’ve been there.

  • Brooke

    Excellent article! Thank you!! It’s so sad how many women are losing the real value of being ladies!

  • kylee

    I’m a new reader here, and I came across this article. I totally agree with everything in this post. We should not idolize any human. We all are sinful and we all need our Saviour!
    However, if I may, I would like to point out one lady that so far has used her fame for good. Carrie Underwood has been a great encouragement to me in my life because of her embracement of biblical principles. Even though she has a “career”, she has openly stated that she is a Christian, she takes her family everywhere on the road with her, and most of her songs reflect the fact that women are made to have a family and husband. I am not trying to replace one idol with another, just point out that there are some people we can learn and take encouragement from. Thanks again for the post and God Bless! <3

  • Sisimlistening

    This is a wonderful article and exactly what I was looking for. Thank you

  • Brianna

    I agree with your message on the ideas that Beyonce promotes, but i think it’s important to point out that she doesn’t actually even control her own life. Everything she says and does is micromanaged to an annyoying degree. She’s like a giant doll. Beyonce needs serious, serious prayer. Secondly, Beyonce serves as a role model for many young girls and women (which you’ve pointed out in the article). When we take that role model away (which we should because she is a terrible role model) what will these girls have left to look up to. Christ is our highest authority and fills our every need, and Jesus left a perfect and ultimate example for us to follow, but if these girls are just now turning from the world of Queen Bey and into te Heavenly Kingdom, who should they turn to as an example of women doing this daily? Is there anyone that you would suggest to replace her while not taking God’s place? I would really love to hear your thoughts on this.

    I think this article opens up an important topic that we’ve been ingnoring for too long. Thanks for the read.

  • Shalini

    Hi…. Beyonce is living in her mansion while you guys are spitting out hate, so I wonder who’s actually successful

  • Molly

    As with many of your posts, I found your analysis of the “Beyoncé brand” simplistic and superficial. I get that you don’t like the hypersexualization and independent-woman rhetoric central to her brand because it doesn’t fit with your ideals of modesty and biblical womanhood. Got it. Point taken.

    But I was wondering what you all think of other elements of Beyoncé’s work and artistic message. For example, Lemonade is a really stunning achievement in part because in it Beyoncé boldly adopts a specifically black feminist image sensitively informed by both her own personal history and the history of African-American women in the U.S. more generally. “Formation” and “Freedom” in particular aren’t just pop songs–they’re rallying cries for people in the U.S. who feel marginalized and disempowered. Beyoncé’s embrace of identity politics provides many people with a source of catharsis, sense of empowerment, a constructive political rallying cry, and self-esteem. Isn’t that worthwhile?

    Also, ironically given your representation of her, I’ve actually seen a desire for and valorization of monogamy in her recent work (seriously what else is “Hold Up” about?) that complicates your portrayal of her as a proponent of “sexual freedom,” which you seem to be defining as sexual promiscuity. So I would also be interested in your thoughts on her lyrical content on these issues…

  • ria

    god is a woman, and her name is beyonce

  • Mininion

    Beyonce is definitely not harming women. I don’t think I’ve ever disagreed with a post so much. Sexual freedom should be praised, you can do whatever you want with your body because it’s YOUR body, it’s not up to someone else to decide what you’re doing with your own body, why can’t women be independent? I also don’t understand why you’re trying to point the blame of anorexia towards Beyonce either, she’s not going around saying all women should be skinny. It’s become more of a problem through social media and people feeling insecure with themselves and wanting to have a body like celebrities, it’s definitely not Beyonce’s fault since it’s other people saying that everyone should have a body like that and shaming others for their body resulting in them becoming very insecure with themselves and trying to change it. The role of men and women should be equal, women aren’t baby making machines who do all the house work and do everything when all the man does is work. It’s not just in “her world” that a liberated woman is an empowered woman, it’s in THE world, it’s just in your world that women should have no independence whatsoever and men should dominate society. The Suffragettes fought for votes for women for a reason, because they were so unhappy living in a world where women were oppressed for no reason other then they were women, if all of that didn’t happen, the world would not be the same and most likely, you’d be unhappy living with no rights. Families are not “hurting” or “strained” because of the man and woman being equal, in fact, they’d be “hurting” or “strained” if it was the other way round. Divorces, for example, are really more of a good thing for a family rather then bad. I’m saying this having experienced my parents splitting up after being together for 20 years, honestly I’m glad they split although it affected me because it’s better then having them arguing all the time and my mum not even having a proper career because of my dad and having to do all the housework and looking after us all the time as well as being emotionally abused by my dad which would affect me more than them splitting up. The fact that divorce is an accepted thing in society today is a good thing rather then a bad thing as the Christian religion states. You don’t need to push God out of your life just to be independent and you also don’t need marriage to be happy. My final point is you listening to and following the Bible is exactly the same as people listening to and following Beyonce, everyone needs to form their own opinions on life and make their own decisions formed on those.


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