For years I never fully grasped that we hold on to memories and hold on to traumas long after we’ve experienced them and felt them, deep in our flesh and our bones. We dissociate during sex, or have panic attacks when someone touches us the wrong way, or lean into reckless hyper-sexuality and mistake that for autonomy, or deny ourselves sexual pleasure and mistake that for discipline.
In referencing Sarah Baartman, I wonder, is Beyoncé reclaiming and reframing her tragic narrative? Or is she merely further, in a sense, commodifying her image? Can both of these things be true at once?