On more than one drunken occasion, I have been found amongst friends loudly slurring the phrase, “I just want to find the Jay-Z to my Beyonce.” Then I usually imitate her now iconic Single Ladies robotic hand dance move. This always gets a laugh, and before you know it, the conversation inevitably ends in a Queen Bey sing-along.
But aside from being a pop-culture infused bar joke (and a convenient excuse to belt I Care like a damn fool), the issue buried in that single phrase weighs heavily on my mind much more often than I drink. And, you don’t have to be a Beyonce fan to know what I’m talking about; you simply have to be a 21st century working girl.
What I envy most about the Beyonce/Jay-Z relationship is pretty simple: she’s her own woman, and he’s his own man. She’s got her career, and he’s got his. They each bring home that bacon, and their live-in chef fries it up.
Although they are commonly known as the music industry’s leading power couple, you’ll rarely see some snarky entertainment journalist mashing their names together (Bey-Z?) or portraying their relationship as a drama-tastic, made-for-TV romance. They are both far more identifiable as individuals: successful and secure individuals that just happen to live together within the context of a seemingly very functional relationship.
If I had to guess, I’d say that’s exactly the reason their’s takes on that twinkly notion of the perfect relationship to the greater 21st century working girl population. It’s very difficult to tell what gender rulebook these two are following. On the one hand, Beyonce absolutely does not adhere to traditional standards.
She shares the position of primary breadwinner with her partner and is financially independent from him. She’s in control of her career and–what’s more impressive–has similarly maintained control of her sexuality.
Beyonce isn’t afraid to glorify her body or feminine strength. It colors every corner of her art. And, have we ever seen Jay-Z go all buck-nut crazy and challenge any other straight male to a duel for enjoying her performances a little too much?
Beating his chest and demanding that he does not want to share his toy? We have not. And we likely won’t, because that’s a genuine Kanye move right there. The Queen Bey is still the queen bee and her man knows it.
On the other hand, it’s not as if gender roles with these two have completely flipped either. Jay-Z is still very much the king of his castle, and Beyonce has done a fair amount of preaching about treating her man well. Take the song Dance for You: she glorifies her partner, thanking him for the flowers, the mula, their world, and she offers him her sexuality as a token of her appreciation.
She clearly believes in the importance of more traditional marital standards to a certain degree, and has learned to find balance between these contradicting philosophies. After all, homegirl was strong enough to bear that baby…but then she got back to business.
While she’s flawlessly transitioning between devout wife and feminist superstar, the average 21st century working girl is wondering when people will stop giving their two cents on her struggling love life with comments like, “Sweetie, he’s just intimidated by how successful you are,” or “His jealousy is really just a sign of greater insecurities, surely you know that.”
We do know it, but that don’t keep us warm at night. Generation by generation, women continue to redefine where we stand as wives, mothers, providers, caregivers and individuals.
Men have had to redefine far less; and as we traverse our way into “traditionally masculine” territory, it’s no wonder that some of them are having a hard time keeping up. But does that mean independent women have to either settle or accept the role of crazy aunt cat hoarder for the rest of eternity? How does a single lady find the Jay-Z to her Beyonce?
In my opinion, that kind of relationship success has little to do with finding the guy, and more to do with finding yourself. I’m not saying that you’ve got to love yourself before he can.
I’m not even saying that you’ve got to discover and truly recognize what an incredible catch you are before someone else will see the same. (Both true statements, but yeah yeah, pass the chocolate). What I mean by “finding yourself” is taking the time to decide exactly what kind of woman you want to be.
What kind of career do you want to have and how important is it to you? Do you plan to adhere to any traditional gender roles and to what capacity? What does your perfect partnership actually look like from where you stand as an individual?
If we’ve learned anything from Beyonce, it’s that–thanks to our foremothers–we can write the rules however we see fit these days. While she’s an incredible career woman, she’s also very confident in what kind of wife she wants to be and strives to find a balance between the two.
Take the time to find yourself, commit to that woman, and promise never to hide her away–especially when you’re meeting a potential new somebody. Before you know it, they’ll be more Jay-Zs than you can count.
And you won’t be a single lady for long.
Thanks for the photo Yahoo!
Kirsten is an LA-based writer, actor and all around slave to the entertainment industry. Most days she can be found drinking way too much coffee, playing one of three songs she knows on the ukulele, and genuinely over-thinking every interaction she has with every other human being she encounters. You can read more about her silly adventures at https://loveandadd.com/blog, or follow her on twitter @KirstenKnisely.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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