Photo: Courtesy of Out Magazine.
"I really feel that 20 years from now — 50 years from now — people will remember December 13, 2013," Yvette Noel-Schure, Beyoncé's publicist says in Out magazine's May cover story. "People are going to remember because it will have shifted the way business is done in the record industry." And, indeed it has. Pharrell's latest LP, G I R L, was announced a mere 10 days before it hit iTunes. Azealia Banks has taken another route and announced the day her forever forthcoming album will be leaked instead of properly released (whether that'll happen is another story altogether considering she's cried wolf before). Either way, the rear-end of 2013 saw former pop-royalty flounder under overpromotion and resoundingly weak additions to otherwise impressive oeuvres (read: Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Britney Spears).
Then Beyoncé's album appeared on iTunes and, as Out points out, Thriller-like waves began rolling to shore. True to form, the magazine's annual power issue features the movers and shakers changing the LGBTQ community, with Bey leading the pack. It's the first magazine cover she's appeared on since December 13, 2013. What's more, it's a cover that says the most by saying the least. There are only a few times in glossy history where a publication waived erroneous text for a single image as its cover. Rolling Stone has done it twice (John Lennon and Yoko Ono's in 1981 and Obama in 2008) with each functioning as a testament to the force each respective personality's brand had become. Beyoncé, even in a Marilyn Monroe wig, doesn't need an introduction. The public knows her image, recognizes her brand, and that's all that's needed to pique interest. (And, yes, Out adding "Power" only adds fuel to her infinitely glowing flame.)
The actual interview (available here) gives a brief look into the empire behind the woman. Bey addresses her sexuality, feminism, and, yes, the album. "I’d like to believe that my music opened up that conversation," she says. "There is unbelievable power in ownership, and women should own their sexuality. There is a double standard when it comes to sexuality that still persists. Men are free, and women are not. That is crazy. The old lessons of submissiveness and fragility made us victims. Women are so much more than that. You can be a businesswoman, a mother, an artist, and a feminist — whatever you want to be — and still be a sexual being." Power, it seems, has shifted. Welcome to the age of Girl Power.