One of the most influential women in the world, Beyoncé has advocated for the rights of women throughout her career. She’s never shied away from being recognized as a feminist and constantly tries to build other women up through her songs and speeches. Now more than ever she is being hailed as an icon for women’s rights, as her visual album Lemonade touched heavily on the topic in a powerful way.
Who doesn’t occasionally want to dress up and bash a few things with a baseball bat? Beyoncé’s music has always been empowering and written in a way that helps others understand the situations that women constantly go through. Whether it’s about a girl struggling with self-esteem or a woman realizing that she doesn’t need a man to define her, Beyoncé has a song for every mood a girl could feel. Here are 10 of her songs that are perfect for celebrating International Women’s Day.
1. “Run the World (Girls)”
This one is obvious. The lyrics support women in the workforce, women who are getting their college education and those who are mothers. If there was ever an anthem for female empowerment, this song clinched that title easily.
2. “Pretty Hurts”
“Pretty Hurts” points out how much society fixates on physical beauty rather than what’s underneath. It shows the standards that women are held to and how, no matter how beautiful you think you are, it’s never enough for some people. This song is about reclaiming beauty and realizing that you don’t need to fit into society’s box to be perfect.
3. “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”
If you ever need a pump-up song, Beyonce has got you covered. I can’t think of another song that celebrates women being single and doesn’t shame them for not being in a relationship. This is a song meant to bring girls together and remind them that being single is fun.
As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says in the song, “We say to girls, ‘You can have ambition but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful otherwise you will threaten the man.'” This song calls out the gender differences when raising girls and how they are often shamed for being sexy, successful, or anything that is typically associated with men. It also gives the proper definition of feminism, which is not wanting men to be less than women. Just saying.
5. “If I Were A Boy”
This song and music video is extremely well written and it makes a strong point to men in particular. Society has these ideas of how relationships are supposed to work. This song does a great job of reversing the typical gender norms and putting into perspective how some women feel in relationships.
This song is an anthem for anyone who is fed up with how they are being or have been treated by men in their life. The lyrics are meant to inspire women to realize that they don’t have to forgive those who treat them badly and it’s okay to be mad. You don’t have to say sorry for pursuing your passions and doing what you want to do.
Short and to the point, “Yoncé” talks about the influence that Beyoncé has and the power she has gained over the years of her fame. She also calls out how the camera makes it seem like she’s always dressing to please men but in reality, she dresses for herself.
Written specifically to empower women of color, this song fits intersectional feminism, which isn’t just about pay wage and sexual freedom. It’s about making sure that everyone is treated with the same respect and equality regardless of their race, gender or sexual orientation. This is another anthem for feminism.
9. “Grown Woman”
This is another empowering song like “Run the World (Girls).” It’s about doing what you want to do and not letting society hold you back just because you’re a woman. Beyoncé relates it back to her own childhood in the music video.
10. “Feeling Myself”
Okay, so Beyoncé is only featured on this song but it is such an empowering song that it still makes the cut. “Feeling Myself” is perfect for getting ready to go out, singing in the car, or blasting in the shower. There is no way that you can listen to this song and not automatically feel good about yourself. Sadly, the music video is only available to Tidal subscribers but you can still get pumped without watching Nicki and Queen B having a great time together.