Proud2Bme | The Best Moments from Beyoncé’s CFDA Speech

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The Best Moments from Beyoncé’s CFDA Speech

By Palmer Hipp--Beyoncé is this year’s CFDA Fashion Icon—as if Queen B needs an award to tell her how much she slays. She delivered a powerful speech honoring her mother, grandmother and uncles and their roles in her career, stating, “Thank you for showing me that having presence is about far more than the clothes you wear and your physical beauty. Thank you for showing me how to take risks, work hard and live life on my own terms.”  

Beyoncé’s acceptance speech was incredibly touching as well as inspiring. Her message was about the importance of family, but the biggest takeaway is that identity does not come from a label or the clothes you wear, and it does not come from physical appearance; but it does come from living on your terms.

Related: Beyoncé's "Pretty Hurts" Video is Pretty Powerful

Here are some of the best moments from Beyoncé’s acceptance speech: 

“Many of you guys don’t know this, but my grandmother was a seamstress. My grandparents did not have enough money; they could not afford my mother’s Catholic school tuition. So my grandmother sewed clothes for the priests and the nuns and made uniforms for the students in exchange for my mother’s education.”

Beyoncé recalls fashion always being a part of her life, and her grandmother passed that on to her mother. These two strong and devoted women modeled the power of hard work and perseverance throughout Beyoncé’s life. She gives thanks to her family throughout her speech for the love, support and sacrifices they made for her.

“Starting out in Destiny’s Child, high-end labels didn’t really want to dress four black, country, curvy girls, and we couldn’t afford designer dresses and couture. My mother was rejected from every showroom in New York.”

Beyoncé calls out the fashion industry for not being inclusive and representative, right in front of their faces. The fashion industry, especially designer brands, rarely make clothes for all body shapes, and tend to exclusively seek out one demographic for their ads, models and target buyers. Beyoncé, Destiny’s Child and her mother didn't let the industry stop them, and they refused to conform to the set standards.

Related: The Year of Beyoncé

“When I wore these clothes I felt like Khaleesi. I had an extra suit of armor. It was so much deeper than any brand name.”

Looking past the fact that Beyoncé just made a Game of Thrones reference, she makes an important point. Clothes don’t have to be your enemy, they don’t need to define your worth, but they do have the ability to empower you. Fashion lets you express yourself, and when Beyoncé challenged the industry and wore clothes made by her mother, grandmother and uncle, it gave her confidence.

“Soul has no color, no shape, no form. Just like all of your work, it goes far beyond what the eye can see. You have the power to change perception, to inspire and empower, and to show people how to embrace their complications, and see the flaws, and the true beauty and strength that’s inside all of us.”

Beyoncé thanked the fashion designers and contributors calling them, “fairy godmothers, and magicians, and sculptors and sometimes even our therapists.” She also reminded them of their power. Beyoncé urges the fashion industry to become more body positive and to realize the role they play in changing the norm. She emphasizes that fashion, just like one’s identity, goes beyond what the eye can see, and they have the “opportunity to contribute to a society where any girl can look at a billboard or magazine and see her own reflection.”

About the blogger: Palmer Hipp is studying in the College of Public Health at the University of Georgia. She hopes to obtain a MSW, aspiring to become an activist for social justice issues. She devotes her time toward breaking the stigma against mental illness and eating disorders as well as promoting awareness and education to mental health issues and violence against women. 

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