“I now know that, yes, I am powerful. I’m more powerful than my mind can even digest and understand.”
- Beyoncé Knowles
It’s 2016. A brand new, sparkling year of change and opportunity.
It’s a time to make alterations to your life. This year, at long last, you will become the person you have always wanted to be.
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter: the woman whose sheer talent, wide-ranged sex appeal and spellbinding aura of female power have made her one of the most compelling artists in the twenty-first century.
It’s no secret that these attributes of Queen Bey, among many others (The Queen is multi-faceted, of course), have possessed what seems to be the entirety of the population to become infatuated with her. The aptly named Bey Hive, formerly known as the Beyontourage, consists of “queen bee” Beyoncé’s billions of buzzing fans across the globe, unified by social media platforms, and their shared love of the most flawless woman on Earth. Whether you’re a diva, drunk in love or just a single lady, there’s a place in the fandom for you.
If you resolve, as you should, to emulate (more like become) Beyoncé yourself in the coming New Year/Semester, then look no further than this listicle for guidance on your epic journey.
1. Create a Fierce Alter Ego
We all know of Beyoncé’s alternate persona, Sasha Fierce, a character first introduced at the release of Beyoncé’s third studio album "I Am…Sasha Fierce" in 2008. Beyoncé affirmed Sasha as the “self” fans witness in the mainstream. “Sasha Fierce is the fun, more sensual, more aggressive, more outspoken side and more glamorous side that comes out when I'm working and when I'm on the stage.” she said in a 2008 press statement, "I have someone else that takes over when it's time for me to work and when I'm on stage, this alter ego that I've created that kind of protects me and who I really am.”
If you’re a sheltered or shy person yourself, then implementing your own Sasha Fierce-esque alter ego could be a productive exercise.
Think critically and envision the qualities you lack yourself or those you especially wish to embody. Create a character, one that personifies these characteristics and is a direct representation of yourself and your aspirations. Utilize it to garner strength and confidence. Step outside yourself in stressful situations, and try to imagine what your fiercer alternate self would say or do. If you’re able to draw any reasonable conclusions, let your self-discovered wisdom guide your thinking.
Plus, who doesn’t love using their imagination?
2. Express Yourself
Beyoncé is a model for anyone who places significant value on the expression of one’s own self in different aspects of life. Not only does B experiment with different styles of dress, makeup and hair, but her music explores her body, relationships, history and broader self-identity out loud, in a most beautiful and radical way.
In response to being criticized internationally for her oft-seductive performances and “seductress” image, she gracefully responds, on the television program 60 Minutes: “Really I don’t think about it too much...I’m just free. I can express my sensuality; I can express my pain, vulnerability, my strength, all of those things."
Don’t be afraid to be who you truly are, especially in college. Cliched as it sounds, you are beautiful and perfectly unique, and should not feel any need to withhold your true self from the world around you. Sure, social conventions and the skewed mentalities within society can at times be troubling road blocks on the way to genuine self-discovery, but these constructions should not have complete power over the course of your life and your choices, especially those related to the way you choose look, live or love.
3. Diversify Your Talents
Despite being a multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning recording artist, acclaimed for for her stunning vocals, videos and live shows, Beyoncé is certainly more than just a singer. Aside from her music, Beyoncé has taken the world outside the industry by storm, becoming a global brand through her designing lines of clothing, shoes, and perfumes, as well as working as an actress, appearing in numerous commercials, films and campaigns. The common thread throughout her extensive career is the way in which Beyoncé strives to achieve at a high level, with her extensive corporate empire boasting a total revenue of over 75 million dollars, according to CNN. Despite her not necessarily having significant experience in all fields, her strict work ethic, remarkable business savvy, carefully-maintained image and considerable financial success all stem from the attitude of a quintessential jack of all trades. Hers is one that we should admire.
You can be infinitely more than just than a singular college student. Don’t restrict yourself to one area of study or extracurricular activity. You need only experiment and test the waters in fields perhaps unknown or unfamiliar, to discover your other talents, of which there are many. Pick an interesting or contrasting minor or double major, join a club or sports team, or find something new and enriching to do on campus and beyond.
4. Be Healthy
Beyoncé’s stage presence requires her to always be in the peak of physical fitness and cardiovascular health, as reminds us all that whatever your age or body type, it’s always a worthwhile idea to live active life.
B frequents the gym, and completes her workouts in the form of interval training, a type of fitness training wherein one switches back and forth between numerous high intensity and endurance exercises during an allotted time interval, to keep the body burning calories and a fast rate.
In addition, Bey swears by a healthy diet, which includes three square meals each day. Her diet focuses on whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and avoids less clean food groups such as fats, carbohydrates, and sugars. Likewise, however, the Queen is also a firm proponent for not depriving one’s self of indulgences for the sake of losing weight, and enjoys a cheat day each week. While not rail-thin or waif-like, Beyoncé proves, in her “realness” that curves and thighs can be features of beauty. She embodies the reality that one need not fit the equally idealistic and unrealistic mold of female beauty to be be beautiful and worthy of acceptance in society.
Not just to avoid the freshman fifteen but to feel increasingly self-confident, Beyoncé’s health regime and body love are worthy of close consideration.
5. Stay Motivated
Beyoncé herself was born the daughter of Tina Knowles, a Texas hairdresser and Matthew Knowles, a Xerox sales manager. She was enrolled in dance classes as a very young girl, and by age seven was taking vocal lessons and winning talent competitors, many times over contestants twice her age and older.
It was at age eight that she formed the acclaimed girl group, Destiny’s Child, with Kelly Rowland and two school friends. They would perform anywhere they could, including Walmart stores and county fairs, before securing a record deal at around age twelve. They would later enjoy both significant success and failures in the business of music, as the group failed to gain popularity for many years before the late nineties, when their single “No, No, No” offered them a claim to fame.
Beyoncé would eventual embark on a solo career, managed by herself after her father proved too constricting of her creative control and development as an artist while holding the position. She would evolve into one of music’s top-selling artists, earning over fifty three Grammy nominations, twenty Grammy awards, three Golden Globe nominations, two Emmy nominations and two BFA awards, among dozens of other honors. To say she wandered effortlessly into her many successes and accolades could not be further from the truth. She achieved the celebrity she has in the present day by setting enormous standards for herself and working hard from an extremely young age.
As you go through your first year of college, now is the time for you to carve out your future. It’s important to recognize the need to remain focused on the end results of your labors, as opposed to the brutality of the work itself, in a similar fashion to Bey. You must remain driven, because while certain skills can be naturally existing or inherited, practice is necessary to nurture talent within an individual and one shouldn't give up if something is hard. You should always keep your eyes on the prize, and not fear making changes for the betterment of yourself and the achievement of your dreams.
Hopefully, using some of the knowledge above, we all can become Beyoncé this year. Anything is possible, after all, when you truly Bey-lieve.
Stay flawless, my friends.
Lead image credit to MTV.