You would think that Beyoncé’s 16-minute Lemonade medley, which saw a stunning array of outfit changes and left one of MTV’s camera’s destroyed by an artfully twirled Louisville slugger, would have been the highlight of B’s 2016 VMAs appearance. But no. From the moment she arrived at the red carpet, Bey served slay after slay.
First, there were Queen Bey and princess Blue’s ethereal Francesco Scognamiglio and ($11,000!) Mischka Aoki ensembles.
Then there was her entourage, populated by many of the inspiring women who lent their auras to Lemonade. Escorting Beyoncé and Blue were Chloe and Halle Bailey, the singer’s Parkwood protégés. (They released their debut EP, Sugar Symphony, earlier this year.) Oscar-nominee Quvenzhané Wallis and models Ava Clark and Winnie Harlow (both born with albinism, both using their unique beauty to change the face of fashion) also posed alongside Bey.
Rounding out the proud sisterhood were Gwen Carr, Lezley McSpadden, Wanda Johnson and Sybrina Fulton — the mothers of Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin — who made the transition from a rural Southern plantation to the VMAs’ ivory entranceway in show-stopping evening gowns. Dubbed the Mothers of the (Black Lives Matter) Movement, Beyoncé’s inclusion of these living, breathing political symbols underscored the idea that in these fraught times there is no occasion for total frivolity and dismissal of the larger issues — racism, gun control, police brutality — at hand.
Then, whilst accepting the coveted Video of the Year Award for her female and black empowerment anthem Formation, the now most-decorated-artist-ever (sorry, Madge) dedicated her trophy to the people of New Orleans. We imagine she means the residents of the neglected 9th Ward, who are still suffering, thanks to the lack of remediation efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Watch the full clip of her speech below and bow down to Beyoncé for continuing to align herself firmly with her community.
[ via i-D ]