Beyonce on Time Magazine’s cover

Time Magazine is influential, I guess, but let’s remember that it is a magazine with falling circulation and an audience mainly in the U.S. In addition, the list of most influential people changes every year, so this is not a static list of influential people. Let’s also remember that it is a corporation trying to sell a product so it can break even and continue to survive.

So of course a picture of a beautiful young woman is the best choice for the cover of the magazine. With that out of the way, I will say that I like Beyonce as an artist, musician and businesswoman. At least I like the single dimensional character I have seen portrayed in the media. She seems smart, caring, ambitious and like a good mother. She is talented and beautiful. With that out of the way, I will say that I wish someone else were on the cover of Time’s 100 Most Influential People issue.

I also wish that Beyonce were wearing more clothing. Because all people are now talking about is her appearance, not her intellect or her accomplishments. Once again, a woman is an object primarily. Her intellect and character are secondary points of attention and consideration for the audience. So disappointing.

Some people are excited that a black woman has been chosen for the cover. I agree this is progress, as is a dark-skinned woman being named one of People’s Most Beautiful. It is indeed wonderful to see a wider variety of faces on the covers of these pop culture vehicles.

To me, however, more genuine signs of progress would be when we make heroes of women who are teachers, hard-working, dedicated mothers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, activists, writers. In other words, women of substance and commitment. Of course, I don’t mean these comments to detract at all from Beyonce’s achievements. It is just disheartening that women continue to be celebrated primarily for their appearance and used as objects to generate income.

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