Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran's concert outfits have sparked a debate about our expectations of men and women
When some musical artists throw concerts, they keep it simple, and just play the hits. Others do something extra, to transform their show into a spectacle. This might include a "floating stage" (Kanye West), biting a bat's head off (Ozzy Ozbourne), performing while walking on the hands of the crowd (Method Man), setting a guitar on fire (Jimi Hendrix), broadcasting a hologram 2Pac (Dr. Dre & Snoop) and, of course, elaborate wardrobe changes (Prince, Madonna).
On Sunday night, Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z performed at the Global Citizen Festival in South Africa. As usual, The Carters killed it, and Queen B wowed the crowd with at least six different colorful outfits. While she was rocking one wild poofy fuchsia gown, Ed Sheeran joined her on stage to perform their duet, Perfect. The English singer was wearing his typical outfit, jeans and T-shirt, and fans thought the contrast was striking. Is it even legal to dress like that next to Beyoncé?!
On Twitter, a photo of their contrasting concert outfits sparked a debate about our expectations of men and women. Beyoncé looks dressed for fancy ball, while Ed Sheeran looks homeless Ron Weasley. "This photo is v v v v representative of what we expect from men and women at the top of their game, isn't it?" said @silllyolddaniel. @garlic meg agreed, commenting, "Even tho I appreciate good musicians in normal clothes the double standard is ridiculous... what is expected of female vs male artists."
Many people disagreed with this criticism, because nobody's forcing Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran to wear these these outfits. Artists have agency, and these two particular singers are just expressing their personal style. Also, there are plenty of examples of male artists that overdress in concert, and female artists that underdress in concert. As a society, we probably do have unfair expectations of women when it comes to their appearance, but this photo is not necessarily an example of that.
The photo quickly became a meme, with Beyoncé representing how you think you look, and Ed Sheeran representing how you really look.
@justpennyyy suggested we let people wear what they want on, and move on with our lives. Ha! Fat chance. Do you even use Twitter, @justpennyyy? The point of the platform is to spread ridiculous lies, viciously insult strangers, try to "cancel" celebrities, make terrible jokes, and pretend to be outraged about everything, 24/7. You are cancelled, @justpennyyy. Cancelled.
There is only way we can solve this gender war, and bring both sides together in perfect harmony. Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran must perform another concert, and switch outfits. Bey ould slay in that hobo-chic jeans and T-shirt, and Sheeran would look like a beautiful queen in that Pepto-Bismol couture gown. Then that photo will spark a massive debate on Twitter about how society puts unfair expectations on men, and we will be so woke, so absolutely woke, you won't even believe it.