I love you. As a fan that grew up in your hometown Houston, Texas (and yes, I attended Alief Elsik High School in Southwest Houston) I danced to "Single Ladies" and cheered when you sang at the inauguration celebration for our nation's first African-American president, Barack Obama. Throughout the years, I have admired your advocacy for health in the Let's Move initiative by our first lady Michelle Obama and watched tons of kids in my local public schools I mentored at move their bodies to the beats of your health-inspired remix "Get Me Bodied."
But after reading that you recently inked a $50 million endorsement deal with Pepsi to become their new "brand ambassador," I was appalled. For a woman such as yourself to be the face of good health and wellness, I couldn't believe that you would be promoting one of the most sugary beverages in the country.
Yes, I understand the argument behind "at least you are not advertising for a cigarette or alcohol ad," but Pepsi isn't the best solution. Obesity, as you should know, is a growing problem in America. It is an epidemic that is pervading the activeness and livelihood of our young adults and children. Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure are at alarmingly high rates, and are more prevalent than ever before. And even more devastating, if we don't stop this crisis now, we may see our children be the first generation to not outlive the last.
Yes, I know that you are not the sole being responsible for the rise and fall of obesity, but your endorsement of one of the many factors that contributes to it does. Let's face it, you are not sitting somewhere drinking Pepsi every day (I already know you eat only eat greasy Popeye's chicken as a guilty pleasure). As a wise person once said, "You are what you eat," and Ms. Knowles, you don't look as though you eat bad -- so why should your fans?
If Rihanna can promote Vita Coco Coconut Water, which is a healthier option for people to drink than Pepsi, how could you downgrade? One answer: money. Fifty million is a lot, but after reading in Forbes that you made $40 million in 2012, I wonder if you really need it.
Yes, I remember how you first started with the brand in 2003. I was one of the first to admire your strut to the Pepsi machine and your smile at the nervous little guy (who would have been me if I got cast) in the commercial as it ended to your iconic hit "Crazy in Love." But just like that endorsement deal and us... We have all grown up.
Through the years, your music has taken you to great new heights and places many of us would only have dreamed. Your life journey is on the covers of magazines all around the world and in the home entertainment sets of millions. Your natural beauty and talent is revealed in all facets of pop culture and I doubt you would contribute your diet to that of the Pepsi brand.
As such, as a fan, an admirer, and a loyal member of your "Bey Hive," I ask that you step out of this endorsement. I personally feel it doesn't represent your vitality, your elegance and grace, and what we love about the incredible woman that is Beyonce Giselle Knowles.
Looking into the future, as a mother, can you imagine Blue Ivy drinking Pepsi over something like Juicy Juice or Pediasure? I doubt it, neither would our first lady. In the future, could you actually expect to gain credibility if you decided to speak up against childhood obesity being the new "brand ambassador" for a high-fructose corn syrup drink? As you would say, "no, no, no, no, no."
In closing, I wouldn't care if another celebrity did this. Katy Perry could continue to advertise her sugary candy costumes until we all get diabetes, Nicki Minaj can have our last moment of life advertising for your new $50 million merger, but not you, Ms. Knowles: the performer, the role model, the exception to the rule. You might be the last true music entertainer we have left that can influence us responsibly. Please don't let us down.
Ernest Owens (one of your biggest fans)
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