Beyoncé is known for inspiring confidence and empowering black women. For radio-television-film and African studies junior Megan Denman, seeing Beyoncé in popular media as a young girl was essential to her growth as an individual.
“She inspires me as a black woman to be true to myself, not to back down for anyone or anything and just embrace who I am,” Denman said.
As a homage to Queen Bey, Denman wore a costume inspired by the song “Hold Up,” and continues to embody the carefree attitude she exudes in the song.
“She really did not give a damn,” Denman said. “She was coming out and tearing down the city without a care, and that’s how I feel. Sometimes you just gotta let loose."
Maiya Evans and Melina Perez
When the announcement was made that Ellen’s competition would involve impersonating Beyoncé, it felt like a stroke of fate to apparel design and retail merchandising junior Melina Perez and merchandising and consumer sciences senior Maiya Evans.
“We had these hats that Maiya made for a previous shoot we did for “Formation,” Perez said. “We were like ‘This is perfect. It’s Destiny.’”
For Evans, “Formation” is more than just a song – it’s an ode to the power of black culture and identity.
“It’s unapologetic blackness,” Evans said. “In a world where so many people are talking about cultural appropriation and not giving credit to where things started, especially things from black culture, formation is just everything. It’s like ‘This is who we are, this is where we came from, and if you take it, give us credit.’”
Growing up with a single mom, sociology and public relations junior Divine Ntomchukwu developed a deep respect for strong women everywhere, especially Beyoncé.
“I respect her message and who she is as a person,” Ntomchukwu said. “When she released Lemonade last year, I just died because it was her first outright political message. I love how she’s very into politics without being oversaturated about it.”
But it’s not just ‘Yonce who inspires Ntomchukwu. Ellen Degeneres, as a prominent member of the LGBTQ community, does as well.
“Ellen is just incredible,”Ntomchukwu said. “When she came out to the world, it was a huge deal because not a lot of people were doing that back then, and she decided to go against the norm and change the game.”