You might feel that you saw a little too much of Beyoncé's behind at the Grammys last night. You could be tired of her PDA with Jay Z. Twitter certainly reflected those two viewpoints during and after her/their performance. But no matter what, you had to stand back and admire the confidence of this woman. She has serious sexual power and she works it like no one else. You couldn't help but say, "Wow."
That's not what Jamie Foxx said, though. I've always respected him -- such an incredibly talented guy -- but last night his awkward, uncalled-for and smugly sexist comments about Beyoncé (directed, interestingly, at Jay Z and Blue Ivy, but never right at her) made me wonder. Coming out to present the award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration long after Beyoncé and Jay Z opened the telecast with an admittedly scorching rendition of her hit, "Drunk In Love," he sauntered to the mike and faked his own embarrassment while clearly trying to embarrass both stars. He began by pseudo-apologizing to Jay Z for ogling his wife backstage: "I mean, did you see Beyoncé when she came out? It was crazy!" He went on. "I was like, Blue Ivy's mom is hot!" And there was more: "All the pregnant women are like, man, what do I need to do to get a body like that?"
Beyoncé is at the top of her game after releasing a secretly-produced and masterful album last month. And yes, she is the mom of 2-year-old Blue Ivy and the wife of an entertainment mogul. Her accomplishments are intimidating, not just for other moms, but for everyone -- even, I'm guessing, Foxx. Consciously or not, he responded by cutting her down to more human size with two tried-and-true tactics. First, he talked about her as if she is her husband's property, as if her sexuality isn't something she owns and deploys for her own purposes. Then he marveled at the fact that she's a mother, as if mothers can't (or shouldn't) be sexy. And then, he objectified her body -- not just as hot, but as hot for a mom. The old MILF routine. Finally, he posited her hotness as a reason all "pregnant women" should feel bad about themselves. His clueless comments didn't just make Beyoncé squirm in her seat, her smile frozen on her face; women everywhere recoiled. Even worse, we all sucked in our stomachs, whether we're mothers or not.
I'm sure Foxx spoke without thinking. He was just trying to be funny, etc. But the Grammys were watched by more than 28 million people, my two daughters and Foxx's own 19-year-old daughter, Corinne, among them. Between Beyonce, Pink, Carol King, Kacy Musgraves, Taylor Swift, Madonna and Lorde, the Grammys presented a bevvy of strong, talented women to inspire us. Next time, Jamie, just say, "Wow."