Queen Bey has done it again.
Badass Beauty, Beyonce-Style
Here’s the thing about B’s looks: Her particular brand of beauty is both alluring to men and accessible to women. Supermodels—conventionally presented as having the ideal body type— actually tend to have the statistically rare lean-column body (narrow shoulders, small bust, small waist, narrow hips, flat bottom). Because fewer than 9 percent of women naturally possess this shape, the model ideal is ever-aspirational, and frankly annoying. (And often sad-making.)
Beyonce, conversely, has the most common female body type: the full hourglass (bigger thighs, rounded bottom and hips, smaller waist, big boobs), making her looks more relatable and attainable. Women actually can kinda look like her if they treat their bodies right (emphasis on “kinda”—mostly because our half our day isn't dedicated to sit-ups and intense dance calisthenics.) Men, too, are more drawn to the Beyonce figure; studies show that the full hourglass figure lights up the male brain more than any other shape.
Most importantly, Bey has explicitly repudiated the skinny-girl ideal. In her recent song “Pretty Hurts,” she sings about the pressure to be thin; in the accompanying pageant-themed video, there’s a point where a judge asks, “What do you want in your life?” Her answer? A montage showing her drowning in a pool, crying sans makeup, and angrily knocking over a row of beauty-contest trophies. It's more-than-a-bit trite and obvious, but ladies: I dare you not to get a bit misty watching it, recognizing your own tortured body-image issues lingering in the pageant's shadows.
In short, Beyonce has tapped into something primal when it comes to idealized beauty and our fraught relationship with it in a way no other pop diva has managed to do. Her beauty is more than transfixing; it's empowering.