Current Events/Music/My Culture/Teen Culture

Beyoncé’s Grammy Performance, Motherhood, and Being Pro-Life

I have a love for Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter that runs deep. I don’t support or condone everything that she says or does, and was left with conflicting feelings following her Grammy’s performance this year. However I’m fascinated by the woman that she is, and the empire that she’s built. So you better believe that it was no small news to me to learn that she and husband Jay-Z are expecting twins.

Evidently, it was no small news to the rest of the world either, given the 10 million+ likes her Instagram announcement received. People were ecstatic to celebrate the new life in Beyoncé’s womb and that enthusiasm followed her through her performance at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards.

The response to her performance was full of resounding appreciation of what it means to be a woman. As a beautifully pregnant Beyoncé boldly performed an artistic interpretation of her songs “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles,” she ushered the world to a celebration of femininity, motherhood, and life within the womb that was refreshingly unfamiliar.

Following her performance, Twitter was abuzz with people expressing their support and love for the expecting mother and her unborn babies. With some reservations about the self-worship implications of her performance aside, I did appreciate how Beyoncé’s performance called the culture to affirm the beauty and goodness of femininity and motherhood. Following her performance, I found myself reflecting on what her art had to say about femininity, motherhood, and what it means to be authentically pro-life and came to the following conclusions:

Motherhood is infinitely beautiful

Beyoncé didn’t make it beautiful, she just embraced its beauty and the world followed. Motherhood is an incredible gift. The fact that a woman’s body is capable of conceiving and nurturing a child is a tremendous thing. When we reflect on that reality, there’s no denying that something amazing is happening. Women — all women, not just celebrities — have the unique and wildly stunning ability to bring life into the world. That is something worth celebrating.

I want to embrace this beauty the way Beyoncé did and I want our world to continue to embrace that beauty as they did following her performance. I want us to have such an understanding of the profound gift of motherhood that we can look at the young moms, single moms, working moms, and stay-at-home moms in my life with awe at the radical beauty that is their motherhood. It’s my prayer that the world stops looking at motherhood as an inconvenient burden to be avoided until desired, and to begin to appreciate just how amazing motherhood actually is.

Every child that has ever been conceived is precious and worthy of life

Although secular media seems to affirm this truth exclusively in celebrity situations, all life is intrinsically valuable, precious, and worthy of love. God wills all human life into existence, no matter what circumstances he or she might be born into, and, for that reason, all human life deserves to be honored and protected. Beyoncé’s life, Blue Ivy’s life, her unborn twins’ lives, every child with disabilities, every unborn baby’s life, every patient in a retirement home, any human being who God continues to will into existence — every single one of these lives has value, meaning, and purpose. Despite whatever circumstances a person might be born into, he or she is not a mistake and is worthy of life.

That means my life is valuable and your life is valuable. We matter. We mean something. We exist on purpose. So we must live like it! Pursue your dreams, your hopes, your goals in this life with passion and leave the mark on this world that you were made to.

All mothers deserve to be supported and cared for through pregnancy

It was beautiful to see such enthusiasm and support for Beyoncé when she announced her pregnancy and when she celebrated it during her performance at the Grammy’s. I was only left wishing that we would see the same support for all mothers expecting little ones.

It’s my hope that our culture’s response to Beyoncé’s pregnancy would become the norm. That we would support and love all mothers expecting children — the 16 year-old girl who bravely chooses life for her child without the support of her boyfriend, the young woman who was eager to start a family with her husband and put her career on hold so that she could raise a child, the woman who is struggling to find the strength to choose life for her child and is being told her baby is nothing other than a clump of cells.

As we take on this appreciation for motherhood, we have to take real steps to support and care for the women that bring life into the world. We need to be able to stand for life by providing the resources necessary to all mothers.

So what can you and I do? We must pray for the protection of life, especially the most vulnerable — life in the womb. We can volunteer our time at crisis pregnancy clinics, helping those women who are braving pregnancy without a lot of support. And we must never be afraid to stand up for the protection of all human life in all circumstances; whether we have a friend, a friend of a friend, a distant cousin, etc. who might be encountering an unplanned pregnancy, we need to love them enough to be there for them as they bravely take on motherhood, even if the circumstances are messy.

We can find good in all situations

Beyoncé’s performance at the Grammy’s hardly gave glory to God. In many ways, it was an utterly self-centered, self-worship presentation that audiences were quick to participate in. However, it can’t be denied that the beauty of motherhood and new life that was explicitly celebrated in that performance was a good thing. The response at the Grammy’s and on social media proves that part of what Beyoncé did truly reminded our culture to appreciate the profound beauty of what the female body is capable of and the gift of life — especially unborn life.

This reminds us that God can draw good out of any situation — even the messiest. God dwells in the brokenness — in a single mom’s struggle to balance her work and raising her kids, in a teenager’s unplanned pregnancy, and even in a rape that results in a new life.

We need to trust that God meets his beloved ones in those situations and will create beauty out of the mess. If we don’t believe this, we have to ask Him to give us the grace to believe this so that we can boldly uphold the dignity of all human life, in all situations, and all circumstances: from Beyoncé’s, to the most unplanned, unprepared for, un-supported conception of new life.

Feature image by Suelene Couto, used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, logo added

About the Author

Leah Murphy

As a graduate of John Paul the Great Catholic University, with a background in video and a passion for that wild place where faith and culture meet, she lives to tell God's love story to the world, in the digital space. Dwelling in California, she spends all her free time doing all the things with her friends, enjoying the best music out there, and going on every adventure that comes her way.

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