Decency versus Artistic Expression

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono, published on 14 January 2010  Stock Image - image ID: 10011501, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono, published on 14 January 2010
Stock Image – image ID: 10011501, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

People had lots to say about Beyoncé’s performance, going as far as she’s nobody’s role model and the Grammy’s show was inappropriate. My mother, had an opinion along the same vein.

“She needs to put some clothes on. It’s getting old, she’s getting old,” my mother said, after watching a YouTube video of the mega star’s Grammy performance. I asked her to expound.

“She has a daughter now. Now, my girl Emeli Sande, she’s always dressed and it’s her voice that stands out.” I made my mother watch the entire Grammy performance, certain that once she saw Beyoncé’s dance routine, surely she’d feel differently – I mean the girl was straddling a chair for God’s sake! How on earth would she be able to do that with a long gown? My mother shot me a disapproving look and shook her head, “no.” In mom’s opinion, time’s up for Beyoncé’s body suits.

Clearly, we feel differently, and at first, I was quick to write it off as yet another difference of opinion between the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. But, something still nagged me about people’s reaction to Beyoncé’s performance.

I suppose she could have sung and straddled the chair in some biker shorts and still be sexy. But, why was it even an issue? Is America that moralistic that they could not stand to see a woman’s butt cheeks bumping on her husband’s frontal area? And, whatever happened to artistic expression and freedom? Is decency more important than an artist expressing themselves (even in a sexually charged song and dance)? 

Beyoncé is free to write, sing and perform whatever she wants to. If she wants to make a personal album detailing explicit moments between her and her husband, that’s most definitely okay. I want to hear it. Artists are not meant to fit a mold for the sake of being a role model. It’s the parents’ job to filter what their children should be listening and watching. It’s not Beyoncé’s or any other celebrity’s job to water down their artistic expression to spare someone.

I’m sure people will argue that little girls look up to her and she should save these type of performances for the bedroom. I disagree. She’s a role model not just to girls, but to women who fantasize about dancing for their man, and the world appreciating her body and her voice. She’s an excellent business woman and I’m sure a wonderful mother and wife. I appreciate her making art for herself. I think all artists have an obligation to create art just for their own appreciation.

Her performance was racy and beautiful. A woman singing for herself and to her husband, what an amazing thing. But, to appease my inherited moral compass, I tell mom, “yeah, she could put on a little more on the bottom.”

~Your Curator of all things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley

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Carving out time for Love

Image courtesy of CNaene, published on 23 December 2013  Stock Photo - image ID: 100224326, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of CNaene, published on 23 December 2013
Stock Photo – image ID: 100224326, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

I was on writer’s hiatus this weekend, for a lover’s rendezvous with my husband. We drove forty minutes outside of town, to the California foothills, checked into a hotel, and hung out in the onsite restaurant. We ate, joked, laughed, flirted, and channeled our youth. We had every intention of exploring Gold Country, but never left the hotel – there was no need. We had each other and that was more than enough. We elected to skip the fancy dinner for a late night (1 AM!) run to In and Out Burger.

We discussed what we wanted from each other. He wanted me to be more “housewife” without the “house.” I later understood he wanted me to show more praise and appreciation for what he does for the family. I wanted more affection and more time to write. He offered to take the kids so I can write uninterrupted and he ran his fingers through my wild, natural hair (versus the very straight strands I normally wear). I surprised us both by embracing the untamed mane, standing a little taller.

I had a school assignment due for my California Literature college course where I had to post thoughts on a brief history of the Golden State. I wrote and he edited and picked the classmates I’d write a response to. We remembered we still carry super liberal ideals and we are still in love with each other. I’m sure we knew this before the trip, but our level of appreciation for each other and the union we’ve created deepened.

We had a moment to remember why and how we fell in love. We’ve known each other for twenty-two years, been together for seven, and married for almost two. Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind of life, putting our love affair on the back burner.

Our families rallied around us by being understanding of missing my niece’s birthday party, taking care of the kids and giving us a worry-free night away. I suppose love and all the messiness that comes with it, is a worthy life investment.

Now, we’re rejuvenated, deeper in love, and our ties are more connected than before we left for the trip.

Take Aways:

  • Make time for love
  • Cherish the small and large moments of life by celebrating with a loved one
  • Partnership in love can be achieved and sustained by carving out time and energy to support it

~Your Curator of all things Love, Kimberly Jo Cooley

Ladies, Buy Your Own Flowers

Flower courtesy of my husband 🙂

I am the source and receiver of all that I want in this life…

I was a flower thief as a toddler. There wasn’t a flower that was safe. Amusement parks with signs saying “Don’t Touch The Flowers” meant nothing to me. I’d throw tantrums if I was denied the chance to pluck a bloom. As a child, I was chased out of yards by barking dogs, all in my quest to get a rose or a tulip. Despite all of my flower passion, the only men who gave me flowers were male co-workers who pitched in for obligatory birthday bouquets or my father, who once moon lighted as a florist.

I know some women who wait and wait for men to give them flowers, gifts or love. What are you waiting for? All the Universe will do is give you more of what you’re doing and thinking – wait, wait, and more waiting. Instead of waiting, get your own flowers and love yourself. Be the source and the receiver of all that you want in this life.

I set the intention as a little girl flowers were going to come into my life and guess what? They did and abundantly! Girlfriends, family members and yours truly got me flowers. I didn’t wait for a man to provide what I could manifest in my own life. Sure, it’s nice to now get flowers from my lover, but it was even more rewarding and satisfying to pick out my own and proudly display them at work. When people asked, “who bought you the pretty flowers?” I’d say with robust pride, “me!”

-Your Curator of all things abundant and beautiful, Kimberly Jo Cooley