Unless you were on another planet over the weekend, you’re aware of the chaos Beyonce caused by debuting an HBO documentary titled “Lemonade” that she had announced only three days prior, ending our Saturday nights with a new album. The Lemonade documentary was… heavy, for lack of better words. It wasn’t your average Beyonce. She had no new dance routines for us, she wasn’t overly sexy. It was cultured, it was raw and it was very necessary.
I preach this all the time on The B Werd, but there’s a common thread between all women. Bey takes us through a series of emotions that anyone would normally go through when struggling with betrayal and forgiveness. Not just in relationships, but in families and society. Intuition, denial, anger, apathy, emptiness, accountability, reformation, forgiveness, resurrection, hope, and redemption. It was a beautifully constructed ode to women of color, truly embracing the vulnerability of feminism. Here are 9 truths I took from Lemonade –
We’ve All Been Lied To
Whether or not Beyonce is singing about her own relationship isn’t important. What she’s discussing is relevant to all of us. Whether it be a relationship, a friend or a family member, someone you’ve cared for has hurt you by lying to you. We’ve been mislead by people that we trust and we’ve struggled with wrapping our minds around why someone we love would intentionally hurt us. More times than not, this kind of deceit has nothing to do with us, and everything to do with them.
Changing Who You Are Won’t Change Anyone Else
Out of desperation, B goes on to list all the things she did in hopes to get a man’s actions to change. She fasted, wore white, abstained from sex, she prayed, she slept on a mat, got baptized, levitated, threw herself into a volcano, even saying she saw the devil. Were all of those things realistic? No. But during a heartbreak it’s very possible to live in an unreal realm of pain.We often lose our minds trying to pick apart what we can do differently in order to get someone else to change how they treat us. I can think of a few specific instances where I was miserable, trying to be what I thought would make someone love me more, love me better, love me harder, instead of being true to myself. Nothing that I could’ve changed about myself would have changed the actions of another person. What I did change were the things I could control; how I operated and what I began to tolerate.
Remind Yourself Who You Are
When people are treating you less than you deserve, it’s so easy to question where you went wrong, or what’s actually wrong with you. For a lot of men, powerful women are a tough pill to swallow. As much as we feel like any man in his right mind should jump at the chance to love us because of all the amazing things we bring to the table, that won’t always be the case. Nothing is that simple. We have to realize that not everyone will be able to handle our complexities. “Blindly in love, I fucks wit you until I realize, I’m just too much for you…“. Not every man will know what to do with a woman like you. Remind yourself who you are and know that it that doesn’t affect your worth one bit.
Women Need More Appreciation
Before I get any more technical, let me just say; women are so dope. We are pure magic and deserve to be held at a higher standard. Beyonce incorporates Malcolm X into the film saying, “The most disrespected person in America, is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America, is the black woman.” And unfortunately, we lack what we need from those who should be the first to give it to us. Our fathers, our children, and the women who would prefer to be hateful towards each other instead of supporting one another, since they should be the first to understand how badly we need it. “Are you thankful for the hips that cracked the deep velvet of your mother, and her mother, and her mother?” You’re on this earth because of a woman. That in itself is enough to give the women you care for some well deserved praise.
There’s a Common Denominator for Success in all of Us
There’s a random insert of a young man from New Orleans who talks about how meeting Obama changed the way he viewed his life. Barely getting by, still living in his hometown, he realized after meeting our current POTUS that at one point, he was just a young man rooted in Southside Chicago who wanted more. Sometimes it takes that one line of similarity for you to realize there’s not much difference between you and anyone else who has accomplished what they wanted. Regardless of your circumstances, religion, childhood, or financial background, you can do and become anything you desire to.
Father Daughter Relationships are Just as Vital as Who You Decide to Marry
There’s without a doubt countless generational curses of fatherless homes. What our fathers teach us is so essential to what we long for as we grow up and what we eventually accept as women, but they can only teach what they themselves know. Many men will advise their daughters to stay away from men who are just like them when we need for them to be the examples. Women need to think twice, or three times before deciding on who they have children with. What do you want him showing your kids? Both your father and the man you choose to marry have the ability to either feed your soul, or drain it. Choose as wisely as you possibly can.
Societal Issues Need to be Addressed, Not Ignored.
There’s a very powerful series of images, where daughters are holding photos of their fathers and mothers are holding photos of their sons, including Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown’s mothers. This ties into the importance of men in our communities. The need for grown men who can lead by example so that young men can witness their role models, instead of watching them on TV, as well as the protection of our young men, who are in need of being lead and advocates willing to fight for them. Those boys turn into men, who turn into fathers, husbands and leaders – we need them just as badly as they need us.
Life is Hard, Roll with the Punches.
Bey gives us a recipe to lemonade towards the end of the documentary, symbolizing how all of the powerful women she’s referring to have made lemonade out of the lemons. She commends the grandmothers “you spun gold out of this hard life”, insinuating that women can find a way out of no way, and make the best of what they have. You’ll bend, sometimes you’ll break. You will heal and you’ll start again. Make the best damn batch of lemonade that your lemons allow and enjoy every sip.
Embrace Who you Are, Even When it Changes.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again… Life is hard. It will come with rolling changes of successes and losses, love and hurt, joy and tragedy. Life won’t always go as you planned, you may lose your mind and find it again. It will come with growth, causing you to be a different woman than you were two or three years ago. You may feel shame for things you’ve done until you realize it’s taught you exactly what you needed in order to be and do better. Hopefully, it will come with an unshakeable amount of pride for who you are, who you were and the woman you will be.
What did you take from Bey’s “Lemonade”?