Beyonce Boldly Speaks Out On Black Women In Entertainment At The CFDA Awards
"When we [started] out, high-end labels didn’t really want to dress four black, country, curvy girls."
Since Beyonce's Lemonade, we've all been holding on tight for the Beyhive Queen to speak more publicly about the topics she touched on in her critically acclaimed work, from black womahhood to black love and police brutality. And it looks like our wishes are coming true.
Last night, Beyonce was the surprise winner of the CFDA's Icon Award, one of fashion's most prized accolades and night of glitz and glam. Her acceptance speech became the highlight of the event, too, especially given the fact that she usually keeps her acceptances short and sweet. Not this time!
Presented by President of CFDA, Diane von Furstenberg, Beyonce wore Givenchy from head-to-toe, and she busted out her oversized wide-brimmed hat from the Lemonade film and Formation Tour.
How she slays:
Speaking of the struggles from her lineage, including her poor grandmother who made way for her mother, who made way for her-- and her own black girl adversities in the business, it was a moment to never forget.
"Thank you guys for this incredible honor," Beyonce began, according to Glamour. "As long as I can remember, fashion has always been a part of my life. Its affect on me started before I was born. Most of you don’t know this, but my grandmother was a seamstress. My grandparents did not have enough money and could not afford my mother’s Catholic school tuition, so my grandmother’s sewed clothes for the priests and the nuns and made the uniforms for the students in exchange for my mother’s education," she continued. "She then passed this gift down to my mother and taught her how to sew."
"When we were starting out in Destiny’s Child, high-end labels didn’t really want to dress four black, country, curvy girls," Beyonce said, "and we couldn’t afford designer dresses and couture. My mother was rejected from every showroom in New York, but like my grandmother, she used her talent and creativity to give her children her dreams. My mother and my uncle Johnny, God rest his soul, designed all of our first costumes and made each piece by hand, individually sewing hundreds of crystals and pearls, putting so much passion and love into every small detail. And when I wore those clothes I felt like Khaleesi," referring to the Game of Thrones character, bold and badass. "It was so much deeper than any brand name. My mother, who is so fabulous and beautiful and is here tonight, [and] my grandmother and my uncle are always with me, so I cannot fail."
"My mother actually designed my wedding dress, my prom dress, my first CFDA dress, my first Grammy dress, and the list goes on and on and on," she continued. "And this to me is the true power and potential of fashion. It’s a tool for finding your own identity, expression and strength. It transcends style and is a time capsule of all of our greatest milestones. So to my mother, my uncle, my grandma, thank y’all. Thank you for showing me that having presence is far more than the clothes you wear, and your physical being. Thank you for showing me never to take no for an answer. Thank you for showing me how to take risks, work hard, and live life by my own terms."
"I want to say thank you to every designer that works tirelessly to make people feel they can write their own story," said Beyonce, shifting the focus back to the fashion industry. "Y’all are fairy godmothers, magicians, sculptors, sometimes even our therapists. I encourage you to not forget this power that you have, or take it lightly. We have an opportunity to contribute to a society where any girl can look at a billboard or a magazine cover and see her own reflection.
"Soul has no color, no shape, no form," she said. "Just like all of your work, it goes so far beyond what they eyes can see. You have the power to change perception, to inspire, and empower, to show people how to embrace their complications and see the flaws and true beauty, and strength that’s inside of all of us. Thank you so much for this incredible award, I’ll never forget this night, God bless you all."
And now, we commence the worldwide bow at the feet of this queen.