When you have a super-charged brand that is undeniable effective, why would you mess with it? As an image and brand consultant, this is the question I ask myself after seeing the (faux) nipple baring bodysuits Beyonce wears on stage during her current tour. It is pushing the envelope in a way that goes against her squeaky clean, wholesome image which her brand has been so steadfastly built upon. This, too, after her very sexually charged Super Bowl half-time show performance earlier this year which had tongues all a wag.
For a mega star who has worked hard to protect and maintain her image, I am confused by her recent blatant attempts to dial up her sex appeal. It’s not like Beyonce doesn’t already have an innate subtle sex appeal that both sexes can appreciate. It’s not like she isn’t seen as one of the most beautiful women in the public eye. It isn’t even because she hasn’t been able to nab high profile gig after high profile gig in quick succession without breaking a sweat. Endorsements: She’s got them. So why this sudden raunchier sex persona?
The nipple baring bodysuit (fake or not) is the type of outfit we would expect from Lady Gaga, whose brand it is to excite, titillate and surprise with shock value. This isn’t Beyonce’s shtick… at least it wasn’t. This costume is flirting very close to “vulgar” which isn’t part of Beyonce’s usual repertoire. Beyonce’s feminine, classy, subtly alluring brand persona has been a huge success. She is a role model to millions of young girls. Why taint this wholesome image? For what? More male fans???? Different endorsement deals? It’s confusing and regretful that with all the sexy girl images in the media these days, that a successful star like Beyonce feels a need to validate her own sexuality by being more overtly so. Or is it more like showing off? Either way it is not a positive association for a stellar brand, whose underlying premise is one female strength and empowerment.
If I could take her aside, to advise her, this is what I’d say: “B, you’re sexy as you are. You don’t have to try that hard. Sex sells for those who have much less going on and who are far less talented. You’ve worked hard to get to the top. Be true to you and your brand and continue to be a model for young girls who desperately need positive female icons to aspire to. Get rid of the darn nipples for heaven’s sake! “
What do you think?
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