Beyonce’s Visual Album: Grown Woman’s Glamazonic Hyper 80s

This week, we go through the beauty and fashion choices that make Beyonce a “Grown Woman”.

With 80’s inspired beats and the “I’m a grown woman, I can do whatever I want” mantra chanted fearlessly, on and on, the modern warrior-witch side of Beyonce comes to life. As the lyrics depict her as a woman that has no limitations whatsoever — her eroticism is unbound, her influence limitless — the video takes us on a psychedelia-infused story of Beyonce’s childhood, her teen years and, ultimately, her final destination, adulthood.

Still, while the video itself might center around the singer, the lyrics come to deny the fact that this is an entirely egocentrical endeavour. “Go girl!”, Beyonce sings and with it we realise that the real purpose of “Grown Woman” is to empower other females like herself. Indeed, girls can do whatever they like and want. And if that takes them to glory, good for them. There’s nothing immoral in being loved for your body or for your mind, in getting ahead because you have the looks or the brains. With “Grown Woman”, a paradigm shift surfaces — the woman as leader of men (Beyonce calls them “boys”).

The face of a woman

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As a “grown woman”, Beyonce knows who she is and what she wants. And in this video, she wants a flawless face with glowing cheeks and naturally luscious lips, beautiful eyebrows and lashes.

B’s look is shimmery and glossy, in itself a perfect clubbing manifesto that matches the bright indoor lights and often outshines them. Still, it has a certain subtlety and finesse, and Beyonce is never overpowered by it. Her personality always shines through.

This upgraded “no makeup” look is a bit of a paradox — while Beyonce obviously looks polished and glowing, she also has an incontestable natural aura which makes her relatable. This is a classic early 90’s aesthetic and, by using it, B. manages to transport us to her past effortlessly.

Wild eyes and raw lips

The naked eye is what the makeup team went for in “Grown Woman” and the result is powerful. The brow reflects the light, making the eye bigger, while the minimal use of mascara and eyeshadow allows for the complexion to breathe and the face to be naturally expressive.

The lip, slightly contoured and glossy, adds a wild element to the whole beauty look. While keeping the shape unchanged, the makeup is meant to give Beyonce a raw femininity that demands attention.

That hair

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While most of Beyonce’s new album looks feature her with wavy locks, either short or waist-length, in “Grown Woman” we are presented with sleek, almost unreal black hair that’s reminiscent of the late 90’s era, with its unmistakable R&B ladies.

In the kaleidoscope-powered time machine, we revisit moments from Beyonce’s past and with them old hairstyles and fashion choices. But we always return to the present Queen B and her shiny, dark hair that speaks about control in a world where control is lacking or hard to attain. Beyonce’s hair obviously does what she wants, because now she’s a grown woman and she has the power.

The way the clothes shape the body

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The main outfit in “Grown Woman” is a strapless bodysuit with a graphic, we dare say bold print. But that is not all. The vast majority of fashion looks used in this video are all meant to enhance the curviness of Beyonce’s body. At one point, she is wearing really short, really tight shorts over black tights, plus an aztec print cropped top. In another scene, a white bodysuit, a golden oversized belt and a fur jacket are key elements.

The purpose of all these form fitting, body-hugging, revealing outfits is clear – Beyonce’s making a statement about femininity. While the media might tell us that a 20 year old girl is as good as it gets, Queen B. is here to give a slap in the face to an industry that thrives on unrealistic teen-fueled imagery that’s incompatible with real life. Here’s a 32 year old woman who’s sexier than ever and only going up. The grown woman has an appeal that’s incomparable with anything else. Her beauty is doubled by her understanding of sexuality.

The names that make the name

With Beyonce wearing a Red Carter bodysuit in most of the scenes, accessorized with Tom Ford boots and a Zana Bayne “Bat Belt”, the styling seems to have been an easy choice. Of course, we have a feeling that going with a brand that shares her last name wasn’t only a subtle inside joke, but also a statement. Beyonce identifies her adult self with her family life too. Sexuality and settling down are never incompatible. In fact, they go hand in hand in a good relationship.

In another scene, Beyonce wears Topshop. That’s right, we go from expensive, Miami glamour to street style chic.

But that’s not all. In a final, matriarchal scene in which B. joins her mother, probably to gaze at her loving subjects, the down-to-earth diva is luxurious in fur that looks a lot like pieces from Vladimiro Gioia’s Fall/Winter 2013 collection. Still, the spotlight is definitely on Tina Knowles this time, who’s royal look in leopard print and Christian Louboutin for Rodarte outrageously high pumps is a showstopper.

The crown jewels

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They say a queen is not a queen without her crown, but in “Grown Woman”, the queen is a modern female who doesn’t care about what people say. She favors big, statement jewelry, which she wears immodestly, and her crown is as non-Western as possible.

The pieces that stayed with us are the clip-on chandelier earrings , by Erickson Beamon, and the multiple band neck piece in the mother-daughter scene, that’s reminiscent of Padaung Women.

“Grown Woman” is a statement of power. Through powerful fashion choices as well as moving vintage video selections, Beyonce lets us know that women are their best when they’re all grown up. This, however, is not a physical age, but a mental one. When you realize just how powerful you can be, you can go ahead and rule the world. In other words, “Who run the world? Girls!”.

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