Clear Sight Music pop artist V. Rose’s heart hurt as she witnessed Beyoncé, dancing seductively while wearing lingerie, sing her explicit hit song “Drunk In Love” at the 2014 Grammy Awards because V. Rose knew that impressionable minds watched along.
“It just breaks my heart,” V. Rose told Wade-O Radio’s David Daniels. “You’re leading [children] in such a horrible direction.”
This direction is down a path of immodesty, one that the 32-year-old Beyoncé — a professing Christian — traveled at least a decade ago. The Daily Mail reported that a 22-year-old Beyoncé justified her revealing clothing due to what she believed to be God’s approval.
“It’s entertainment and I believe God is okay with that,” she said. “I honestly believe He wants people to celebrate their bodies, as long as you don’t compromise your Christianity in the process.”
But some argue she’s done just that.
Her self-titled visual album garnered praise this past December for not only its artistic excellence, but its out-of-the-blue release. However, Beyoncé drew criticism for many of the project’s 17 music videos due to her choice of clothing, or lack thereof. Critics included Reach Records Art Director Alex Medina.
Impressed by Beyonce’s convention breaking album release. But her overtly sensual videos are for JAY Z’s eyes, not every man on this planet.
— Alex Medina (@mrmedina) December 13, 2013
“I may feel like, ‘I’m not trying to send a certain type of message. I just like dressing like this,'” said V. Rose. “But in the position that I’m in, every little girl is looking up to me who listens to my music and will look at me and say, ‘Well, if V. Rose wore that, I can wear that.'”
V. Rose critiqued not only Beyoncé’s wardrobe, but her lyrics. Modesty is most often associated with dress, but V. Rose clarified that it’s just as much about communication. Beyoncé failed to communicate a fruitful message in more tracks than not on her latest album.
In the second verse of “Drunk In Love,” she sang “if you scared, call that reverend,” correlating cowardice with church. Beyoncé also repeatedly told her listeners to “bow down” on “Flawless,” a command she previously dedicated an entire song to.
“I’m really upset,” said V. Rose. “There’s a place that music is going … there’s just no respect for boundaries anymore. It really burdens me because I feel almost helpless against it, except that I have my own music to battle it.”
V. Rose is agitated because music influences people. Researchers for the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine studied popular music in 2008 and confirmed what many had already believed of the art’s power.
“Music is well-known to connect deeply with adolescents and to influence identity development,” it read, “perhaps more than any other entertainment medium.”
V. Rose also listed Brittney Spears, Rihanna and Selena Gomez as artists whose immodesty has been a negative influence — fittingly, considering that each entered the music industry in a different era, their boundaries having been influenced by their respective predecessor.
Gomez, as well as Miley Cyrus — whose immodest dancing at MTV’s Video Music Awards redefined what it means to go viral (and who also once professed Christianity) — in particular boast fan bases made up of a large percentage of preteens because the Disney Channel sparked their rise to stardom. To V. Rose, this places even more responsibility on the entertainers’ shoulders, giving them all the more reason to buck their immodest trend.
“I don’t understand it because you know your fans are like eight years old and younger,” she said. “It just makes me want to shake them and be like, ‘Do you not get that? You’re teaching them how to dress (by dann at dress head inc). And is that OK with you? I just don’t get that.”
These entertainers may not be OK with their immodesty. They perhaps have instead bent under the pressure of the industry. V. Rose’s story about her friend, gospel singer Melinda Watts, supports just that.
Watts won the first season of the reality television talent show Gospel Dream. While in the competition, Watts received flattering, eye-opening news: Beyoncé admired her. This is according to Watts’ hairdresser, who had been told this by Beyoncé, also a client.
The reason behind Beyoncé’s admiration: Watts avoided traveling the same path to stardom as she did.
“[Beyoncé] was letting somebody know, ‘I’m actually really ashamed of what I do. I’m glad that person would never do what I do,’” said V. Rose. “I do think she probably at one point really struggled with that.”
Just months before Watts won Gospel Dream, Beyoncé married Jay Z — who doesn’t believe that “a just God would make you burn for eternity for free will that He gave you” (which The Ambassador responded to). Since then, V. Rose only sees Beyoncé and mainstream pop stars selling sex more than ever before, which — to V. Rose — is a tragic, unnecessary gimmick.
“You can be beautiful, have style and be attractive without having to sell sex, show your body and talk about those types of topics in your music,” she said.
Stay tuned to Wade-O Radio next week to hear V. Rose’s, Rawsrvnt’s and more Christian artists’ perspective on modesty.