Queen Bey — a name I refused to ever call Beyoncé Knowles Carter until now — dropped a neck-turning, pulsating, pro-Black girl anthem called Formation and my life? It won’t ever be the same. With each time I’ve watched the video — about 11 times in all — there comes another message describing just how tragic and magnificent it can be to be Black in America.
Five minutes of Beyonce popping around in Gucci booty shorts doesn’t distract us from the symbolism throughout the video, like a Black woman sacrificing herself to drown police brutality or the desperate need to accept and treat genderqueer folk with Black skin like human beings. We learn that Bey, undoubtedly the queen of pop and privacy, is well aware of “corny haters” antagonizing her daughter’s hair, her husband’s large nose and her alleged affiliation with the illuminati. She’s pegged as an artist who gives surface-level interviews and is only good for entertaining, but with the video’s very clear message spray painted on the walls: “Stop Shooting Us,” and a color newspaper reminding us that Martin Luther King, Jr. was much more than a dreamer, rather a radical, we know that’s untrue. Yoncé been woke.
I envision every time I watch this video, now up to 13 times, a new, intelligent piece gets published, giving an in-depth analysis of the goodness known as Black ass, country ass, southern ass Formation, so I will spare you. Instead, I will fan-girl over Bey’s blonde, top-of-behind length scalp cornrows and Pinterest protective styles until I find one that will structurally fit my round face. Here are 10 that I’m loving so far.
10 Protective Styles We Want to Try After Beyoncé’s Formation Video
From calling out social injustices all the way down to the braided hairstyles, the levels of slay Formation gives us are unreal. I plan to spend the next two days further decoding the video, learning the dance moves and picking my next protective style so I, too, can slay!
Ariel C. Williams is the Editor-in-Chief of Slay Culture and author of The Girl Talk Chronicles (Amazon). Sound parenting, storytelling without bounds, and providing a space where Black women and Black boys (like she and her son) are celebrated for their greatness are things that keep her going. Tweet her @ArielSaysNow.