“Check on It”: Beyoncé, Southern Booty, and Black Femininities in Music Video

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Beyoncé Knowles, music video, femininity, hip hop, gender stereotypes, iconicity

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Beyoncé Knowles is a hip hop icon. She is known more for her voluptuous body than her body of work that crisscrosses multiple culture industries. Unlike her hip hop contemporaries, Beyoncé successfully performs a range of Black femininities, speaking at once to Black working and middle class sensibilities while fulfilling her dynamic roles as both a hip hop belle and a US exotic other globally. The music video emerges as the celebrity-making medium by which the form and function of the spectacular Black female body is rearticulated. It is the medium that thrusts Beyoncé from a girl group member to a supreme solo Diana Ross-like diva. By interrogating her performances of Black femininity that operate in her Hype Williams directed and MTV award winning video, Check On It, this essay explores the ways her Southern hip hop booty shapes how her iconic body is understood in contemporary popular culture.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Feminist Media Studies, v. 12, issue 1, p. 35-49