Don’t lie to me—I know you all saw Beyoncé’s half-time performance at the Superbowl last month. Like many people, I found it to be electrifying, and have viewed it plenty of times since I watched it live. One thing that defines Beyoncé as an artist is her confidence. While it may border on egotism, I have never questioned it. So what if she is fully aware of the power she holds—it’s obviously working for her. In my opinion, Beyoncé is the ultimate woman and I worship at her feet. But her performance got me thinking—should I be doing that?
If you asked my girlfriends who they aspire to be like, you would definitely find evidence of their role models in their appearance. My New Girl-loving friend recently got the now-iconic Zooey Deschanel blunt banged haircut; my friend who has been a committed Britney Spears fan since she was 10 years old wears Brit’s standard fedora hat at least twice a week; Another friend tries to put together Rachel Bilson’s outfits daily. And me? You can usually find me lunging across my living room asking my roommates if my backside resembles my idol’s yet.
Role models are tricky because there is a definite line between aspiring to be like somebody and wishing that you were them. While I was watching Queen B perform, all I could think was “I would give anything to be her,” and it was true. In that moment, I would have sold my soul to have her body, her gorgeous curls, and her powerful presence; she embodies everything that I have ever wanted to portray as a woman. In that moment, I resented myself.
In the past few years, there have been so many different kinds of women for society to obsess over. As far as the variety goes, I love it. There’s the eccentric Lady Gaga and the free-spirited Jessa from HBO’s Girls. I even give reality star Khloé Kardashian some credit for her ability to speak her mind and take a stand. However, in my deep admiration for these unique women, I often forget that I am a person, too. In our quest to better ourselves, even the most confident of girls can confuse admiration with direct imitation.
Just because I will never wow the entire world while clad in leather at America’s favorite sporting event does not mean I will not make an impact. I can portray power and confidence in a different way, in a way that comes naturally to me. I know, I know—it sounds cheesy, but it’s true.
Yes, it’s okay to steal fashion tips from the women you admire. It’s even okay to wish that you were a little more outspoken. But it’s also important to remember to apply the traits that you admire about others to yourself. With feminism and women’s issues being such hot topics as of late, we all deserve to have a voice—our own voice—in this crazy world.
Image by José Goulão from http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3339/3546356301_c0c837afd0.jpg