We live in a world where image is everything. Where something as simple as wearing the wrong type of panties with a particular dress can have you blasted all over the internet as the #FashionFail of the day. In this image conscious world our celebrities (and in some cases pseudo celebrities) serve as a guide for some, if not most people, on how to dress, wear their hair, live their lives, etc. We’ve come to hold these otherwise normal people to a higher standard than most and often expect them to be the “gold standard” by which things are done. When Beyonce announced her pregnancy recently at the MTV VMA’s this past Sunday, women everywhere saw her as an example of doing things the “right way” and increased the height on her nearly holy pedestal. Now I won’t get into the whole “right way, wrong way” debate, however I will say that Beyonce, and celebrity women like her have become a dying breed.
There used to be a time when female celebrities, like Beyonce, carried themselves publicly like well, women. They carried themselves with a regal air that was hard to define; they were passionate without being loud, heard without really having to make a sound and their very presence in a room commanded respect. These celebrity women were and are the Lena Horne, Phyllis Hyman, Angela Bassett and Lynn Whitfield’s of the world. They knew that the spotlight was on them at all times, so when they were done shimmying across a stage or filming a steamy love scene, they made sure that their public personas held to the same standards their work did, tasteful and respectful. Are they perfect, of course not, but you never saw any of these women caught up in any violent, degrading or inappropriate situations in the media. Lena Horne would have never participated in anything close to a Basketball Wives show or movie and as divalicious as Ms. Whitfield is, going toe to toe with a movie producer ala Teyana Taylor would’ve had her clutching pearls, why, because they were ladies.