In the cover shoot heard 'round the world, Beyonce Knowles—international mega-star and the most influential person in America—has donned Time's illustrious annual cover . . . in her underwear.
Listen, I'm not saying she had to wear some navy power-suit flanked by a tight bun and pearls, but like, really? Even a little black dress would've felt less blech-inducing. And while I "get" that part of Beyonce's undeniable influence and business prowess is leveraging the oldest asset in the book—a woman's ass—Time's decision to illustrate her in the most scandalous, yet still "appropriate" way was such a squandered opportunity.
Instead of showcasing Beyonce's obvious intelligence, philanthropy or feminist agenda, they showcased her—again—as some sultry miserable-looking sex-pot. And it's not even that arresting an image! She looks dead-faced, overwhelmed and dare-I-say anglicized as fuck. Everything is in grey scale; her hair bleached white; her underpants white; her chiffon, see-through shirt . . . white. white. white. Don't take a strong-as-nails black women and water her down for a less "racially-charged" cover. If you showed me the photo sans the headline I'd think this was some oversexualized survival story or another bad perfume ad. The only elements that feel provocative are rooted in latent misogyny and sheer laziness as far as I'm concerned.
And yes, maybe Time's creative staff got down on their hands and knees and begged her to go with a more dignified, professional cover and Beyonce's entourage said, 'hell no! underpants or bust!' but that's no less troubling. How amazing would it have been if Beyonce—instead of showcasing her firm thighs and lush lips—was grinning cross-legged in jeans in her undoubtedly awesome office? Or clad in army gear as a militant leader? She does run the world, after all.
And as a final rant? I think we can all agree that Sheryl fucking Sandberg—who wrote the piece on Beyonce for the cover story—wouldn't include "appearing in your underpants on the cover of magazines" as part of the Lean In agenda.