In a recent interview, Beyoncé says Blue Ivy is what she’s most proud of in life
Whether you love or hate her, you’ve got to admit that Beyoncé has accomplished more in her life than a few dozen people combined. With her 20 Grammys and double Super Bowl appearances alone giving her more cred than most pop artists, the Queen Bey has a lot to be proud of when it comes to her career. That’s why a recent interview she gave, in which she shares that giving birth to daughter Blue Ivy is her proudest accomplishment, is drawing raised eyebrows from some. Which is absolutely ridiculous.
Beyoncé was quoted in Garage magazine saying, “Out of everything I’ve accomplished, my proudest moment hands down was when I gave birth to my daughter Blue.”
Fair enough, right? How many of us would say that we’re proudest of our children above all else? Of course, Beyoncé calling the birth of her daughter her proudest moment doesn’t mean she isn’t almost as proud of all her other accomplishments in life. But apparently, there are those who think a woman at the top of her career shouldn’t call her kids the best thing she’s ever done.
Jenny Kutner, in an essay for Connections.Mic, seemingly bristles at the notion that a woman as accomplished as Beyoncé would rank motherhood highest on her list. She writes, “But the fact that Queen Bey lists motherhood as her greatest triumph in spite of all her other successes speaks volumes about the way domestic achievements are supposed to rank in women’s lives — that is to say, above the rest.”
Does it, though? First of all, is having a child really considered a “domestic achievement?” It’s not exactly mopping the kitchen floor or scrubbing the toilets. It’s adding a new member to your family. It’s the physical embodiment of the love between a woman and her partner. Giving birth and becoming a mother are monumental life occurrences and calling it your most proud moment is certainly acceptable. Well, to most of us.
Kutner goes on to list other powerful women who have publicly declared motherhood to be their top priority including Hillary Clinton and Victoria Beckham. She then makes a bit of a leap saying, “Our cultural narratives dictate, however, that regardless of how impressive their resumes might be, women are meant to have babies and spend their time happily devoted to them.”
What she says has some truth to it. It’s maybe not as common for fathers to declare their kids their life’s greatest achievement and our culture does seem to revere motherhood to the point where we might feel that having children is something we are “meant” to do as women. But who’s to say what Beyoncé’s line of thinking was when she said Blue Ivy was her most proud moment?
Isn’t it possible that after all the amazing things she’s done in life, she still sees the birth of her daughter as even more amazing? Isn’t that up to her, what she ranks as the most proud she’s ever been? I’m not a world-famous pop star with zillions of dollars but even if I were, I still can’t imagine placing a single other thing above my kids as far as my “proudest” moments.
In saying that, it doesn’t mean I’m devaluing everything else I’ve accomplished in life; simply that I feel my kids are what I’m most proud of. Does that make me less of a feminist? Does it mean I’m falling prey to a dangerous “cultural narrative?” Or can it just mean that as a feminist, I feel free to say that I really do prize becoming a mother above everything else I’ve ever done?
Kutner ends her essay saying, “Given the hurdles most working moms must overcome, then, wouldn’t it be refreshing for one of the most professionally accomplished women in the world to value her career and family accomplishments equally? To say, “You know what? I really love being a mom, but I’m most proud of the work I’ve done”?”
Sure. That would be nice. But how about we let that mom come forward and say it herself instead of putting our own personal definition of feminism on Beyoncé, or any other woman? Isn’t that what feminism is? As women, we’re all allowed to value whatever we want to and if Beyoncé thinks Blue Ivy is better than her Grammys, who is anyone else to say otherwise?