When Beyoncé Released "Beyoncé"
Activist Janet Mock is Beyoncé’s biggest fan girl, not just for her style and songs, but for her advocacy as a feminist.
- When Beyoncé released "Self-Titled" in 2013, I remember I was just on the verge of about to release my first book, "Redefining Realness." And like the world, I stopped, I listened, I watched, and I saw her not only embody what it meant to be a strong woman, but she added a term to herself. She embraced a label that I think that, for so often, specifically in popular culture, was seen as something that was not celebratory, that was something that was seen as frigid, as taken too seriously, or had a certain image. And for this powerful woman to say that I am a feminist and to then provide her listeners with a definition of what it meant to be a feminist was really powerful for me.
And it really pushed me to, for the first time, also embrace that term, because what she was saying, which was about the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes, was something that I believe that I was already doing, but I was too afraid to embrace that label, another label, onto myself. And so I said, why not become a feminist activist, a feminist storyteller, a black feminist storyteller and activist? So I embraced that, and it really became, I think-- well, that album alone-- just became kind of this amazing body of work that, I think, has influenced the world and, of course, influenced me in my own political viewing of myself.