Column by Hallie Beard, Opinion Editor
A few days ago, my life changed.
I saw Beyoncé– Queen Bey, B, Yoncé – perform a live show in Nashville, Tennessee. As someone who has had decent exposure to musicals, concerts and other artistic performances, I can confidently say it was one of the best, if not the best, performances I’ve ever seen, period.
It wasn’t just her singing (which was superb for the constant belting and rapping she had to do) or her dancing (um, slay my whole life) or the video/production components (I nearly had a seizure when fireworks launched from the top of a giant, rotating screen). It wasn’t just her glorious appearance, her genuine commentary or joyful smile. It was all of these things, but Beyoncé simply possesses a spark that few people have (or know how to release).
This is no news flash – I’m fairly certain any breathing human would agree that she is unparalleled as a pop artist and flat-out makes good art. But let me try to explain my experience as genuinely as possible.
Before songs like “Formation,” “Flawless” or “Survivor,” she demanded the crowd repeat encouraging things about themselves. “I slay,” we had to yell before she started her verse. “I’m a survivor,” we said, after she asked any survivors of racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. to make the declaration.
“There’s no such thing as a weak woman,” she said before “Survivor.” Flaunting a line of female backup dancers and a female band, it was easy to feel empowered as a woman at her concert.
When I left, I was inspired. This sounds hokey or like I’m simply buying into the Bey craze, but it’s true. I couldn’t wait to get home and face the rest of my week. The strength, energy and well, slay-power I felt was intoxicating. I couldn’t get the smile off my face, and I wanted immediately to listen to her songs again, to relive the glory.
What I realized in the midst of this, though, was that anyone can be Beyoncé in your life.
Don’t misread that – Bey is still the queen, and I’ve never met anyone who could dance and sing like her in a sparkly leotard and perfect hair for two hours.
But anyone can provide the encouragement Beyoncé did to her fans.
Even better, you can do it, too.
If you can’t count on anyone to give you encouraging messages on the daily or command you say “I slay” before tackling a difficult endeavor, be that person for someone else. Be Beyoncé to your friends or family or anyone who needs a little uplifting.
I’m sustaining this piece on clichés, but here’s another: it doesn’t cost anything to be kind.
You’d probably have to go through Olympic-style training to get Beyoncé’s pipes or dance moves, but you hardly have to try at all to be as motivating as she is.
If Beyoncé isn’t your style, pick another celebrity or star you find inspiring and do what they do.
In short: slay.