Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What "I Woke Up Like This" Really Means

When Beyonce says "I Woke Up Like This" it has nothing to do with makeup, good hair, having those nails done, or those feet looking pretty. It has nothing to do with the clothes we women wear or the lack of clothes we wear. She is not talking about what a woman's physical appearance at all.

In the songs "Flawless" Beyonce references so many things that we women use to call ourselves whole. She speaks on being Jay-Z's wife. There's a part where she shows off her wedding ring. She speaks on being in the game forever, which she has been. She talks about how when we were growing up we wanted to be her, which most of us did. I'm from that H-Town, so she has always been one of my musical idols.

There's so much in the song "Flawless" that describes what "I Woke Up Like This" means. There is the  dialogue from Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. We women are told to rule the world, but then the world tries to place us in a box. It's a constant battle to not get caught up in an image that someone else wants to create for us.

Basically "I Woke Up Like This" references the confidence that we women have. It references how we overcome our daily struggles. Whether those struggles are proving ourselves in a work environment or living through the pain of being on our periods, we manage. Although we don't wake up every day in the same mood. Sometimes we're happy and sometimes we're the meanest creatures on earth.

I've seen this phrase used to bash women everywhere. Men have been using it a lot to fulfill their hurtful quota of the day on twitter. Stop it if you're one of those doing it. Allow a woman something to make her feel like the woman she is.

I woke up like this. I'm not referring to the drool that may be sliding out of my mouth or the crust in my eyes. It's my confidence that matters. While you're trying to figure out what to leave in 2013, definitely take this with you. Carry into 2014 the mentality that you woke up being the confident woman you are.

"We teach girls to shrink themselves 
To make themselves smaller 
We say to girls 
"You can have ambition 
But not too much 
You should aim to be successful 
But not too successful 
Otherwise you will threaten the man" 
Because I am female 
I am expected to aspire to marriage 
I am expected to make my life choices 
Always keeping in mind that 
Marriage is the most important 
Now marriage can be a source of 
Joy and love and mutual support 
But why do we teach to aspire to marriage 
And we don't teach boys the same? 
We raise girls to each other as competitors 
Not for jokes (?) or for accomplishments 
But for the attention of men 
We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings 
In the way that boys are 
Feminist - the person who believes in the social 
Political, and economic equality of the sexes"

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