According to Forbes, 29 year old pop singer Beyonce Giselle Knowles is the most powerful sista in the country. Apparently Beyonce’s (you fill in the blank) is more powerful than the first woman, black or white, to OWN her OWN Network and the first African American First Lady combined.
Forbes doesn’t explain how they came to their conclusion and personally I find it a bit dismissive of black women in general. Lady Gaga, a mere singer, would never be named the most powerful woman in the country. She’d first have to get past real power brokers like Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton to be bestowed with such an honor.
Beyonce however, who influences no one that I know of over the age of maybe 17, somehow manages to be labeled more powerful than Oprah, a woman who had enough pull to get her OWN Network distributed to over 85% of American households.
To add insult to injury, our FLOTUS was also passed over for #1. Michelle Obama, by virtue of being the first black First Lady, has the ability to not only have her voice heard by all Americans, but especially young black women who can now see and picture themselves living a life they may have once thought impossible.
All of that however seems to pale in comparison to Beyonce’s ability to occasionally sell out concert venues.
I ask you- what can Beyonce get done- what real power does she have? Can she influence economic policy as say Michelle Obama can by virtue of being married to one of the most powerful men in the world? Can she get a network off the ground as Oprah did? Can she single-handedly change the mindset of a generation like Debra Lee, were she only willing to use her power as CEO of BET for good?
My answer is no. Beyonce, like Gaga and Rihanna, have power- but it is limited and ultimately only helps to serve those with even more power.
Forbes needs to rethink this list next year. Or maybe they got exactly what they were looking for- a bit of controversy to hype up their annual ‘Most’ this and that issue.