dear journalists who are tempted to criticize Beyoncé's Grammy performance:
Before you start ranting about how her performance was centered on narcissism and comparing herself to God, here’s a little lesson on the symbolism you missed:
1. Beyonce has already put to rest the notion that she thinks of herself as God. If you watched Lemonade, you’d know this. (This is from the VMAs, I’m aware.)
2. Beyonce has been pictured many times in honey mustard colored clothing. This color symbolizes the Goddess Oshun. Oshun is the African Goddess of love and sweet water. Hence the background dancers moving as waves during Love Drought. Oshun is also known as the “mother of orphans.” Self explanatory.
3. During Love Drought, you see the dancers take each other’s hands and lift them up. This was a reference to the Igbo Landing. Igbo Landing is the location of a mass suicide of Igbo Slaves that took place in 1803. A group of Igbo slaves revolted and took control of their slave ship, grounded it on an island, and as an act of mass resistance, marched into the water singing and drowned themselves rather than submit to slavery.
4. Beyonce also referenced Venus, the Roman goddess of romantic love, beauty, sex, and fertility through her breathtaking gown with sea foam patterns. She also references the Virgin Mary with her headpiece that consisted of a halo that is usually painted around the Virgin Mary to represent purity and tenderness. There were so many more references, but these are just a few.