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Beyonce recently posted a photo on her Instagram page of her holding her new twins – a boy named Sir and a girl named Rumi – in a similar veil-and-a-bikini getup to how she posed when she was still pregnant. The Left finds this imagery pregnant with political and religious messages. The Washington Post published an overwrought analysis on Friday by Katie Edwards, working for the University of Sheffield’s Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies in England.
The Post tweet promised a look at “How Beyoncé’s Virgin Mary imagery challenges racist, religious and sexual stereotypes: Her re-appropriation of Virgin Mary iconography offers a biting critique.”
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The Virgin Mary is traditionally represented in art as a white woman. Often her complexion takes the palest possible hue, apparently connoting holiness and innocence. Cultural critic Richard Dyer showed that “in Western representation, whites are overwhelmingly and disproportionately predominant, have the central and elaborated roles, and above all are placed as the norm, the ordinary, the standard. Whites are everywhere in representation.” Whiteness, then, occupies a position of cultural hegemony as “normal” and neutral, and religious iconography that — quite literally — represents whiteness as divine, is a means of reproducing white power and superiority.
Beyoncé’s re-appropriation of Virgin Mary iconography offers a biting critique of this supreme exemplar of feminine whiteness and the ideology that constructs and perpetuates it. At a moment when white supremacy is echoed in the “America first” slogan of President Trump, Beyoncé simultaneously dislodges “white” from its central place in religious iconography and Trump from his recent monopoly of press headlines.
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No one seems to ask Beyonce what her intentions are – whether she intends to offer a “biting critique” of white America or Christianity. It’s not likely she’s doing all this to please cultural Marxist professors, although she probably doesn’t mind when she’s...
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