Beyonce’s halftime show and wearing nail polish to preach

Erica Schemper

Ruth Lemmen
February 5, 2013

Thank you, Erica! I would probably have never thought to connect these two experiences, but I think you are right.

Meredith Holladay
February 5, 2013

I have several young girls at church who come up to me to see what color my nails are each week. I hope the message they get is more than just whimsy. Though whimsy certainly has its place.

Shannon C.
February 5, 2013

"Feminine authority?" Beyonce sure seemed to be playing up the "sex symbol" role to me. We turned the halftime show when she started taking off her clothes. My kids are too young to see that, and it's not exactly something that's going to build up men struggling with lust, either.

Joshua Pease
February 5, 2013

Erica, this was well-written and - as a fellow pastor - it was fascinating for me to hear the similarities and differences in how we think of ourselves while preaching. Thanks for that. Additionally, as a man I know I can't fully comprehend what you're saying/what Beyonce's performance meant to you.

That being said, since I am a man, I can speak from my perspective. For me, there wasn't much about Beyonce's performance that shouted female empowerment. Her choreography and wardrobe basically shouted "imagine having sex with me." And while I'm neither surprised nor scandalized, I definitely didn't walk away thinking "what a great day for the non-objectification of women."

February 5, 2013

Women preachers wearing polish on their nails (toe or finger)? Not an issue. Women preachers saying "sex" a lot from the pulpit. Not an issue.

Beyoncé wearing polish on her nails (toe or finger)? Not an issue. Did Beyoncé say sex a lot on that stage? She didn't stop saying it, for crying out loud.

But I question whether her performance was truly an example of bringing feminine authority to a male dominated event, at least whether it was in a good way. It seemed closer to a strip club than to Deborah's rule as a judge in ancient Israel. Now there's an example of bringing feminine authority to a male dominated event.


February 5, 2013

This is definitely a provocative piece. I applaud you for your candor. Honestly, I'm not so sure how I feel about Beyonce or her performance Sunday. I appreciate and respect her as a worthy female performing artist, among the finest of her peers. That's enough for me.

What I find more interesting about your comments here is the way you so obviously feel comfortable in your own skin as a woman in pastoral leadership--a woman of legitimate spiritual authority. I don't applaud vanity, and I don't condone immodesty, but I do think it's appropriate and edifying for women to feel comfortable in their own skin as they minister to others. Kudos there.

February 5, 2013

Beyonce's performance was hardly something "from a strip club," as one of these comments claimed. As for another commenter, who said she was "taking off her clothes," exaggerate much, fellas? This was a singing and dancing performance featuring costumes no more revealing than the average Rockettes show. The Rockettes have been entertaining families for generations. Strong, independent women who entertain without men may be something you are not used to, but maybe you should get used to it, because it is the 21st Century, not Biblical times.

February 6, 2013

Actually obiwen, no one said it was "something 'from a strip club.'" What I said was that it was "closer to a strip club than to Deborah's rule as a judge". You think it was closer to Deborah? How so?

Victoria Weinstein
February 6, 2013

Erica, it sounds like you might enjoy my blog, www.beautytipsforministers.com, where we talk about pastoral nail polish and everything else you're lifting up here. Cheers.

February 8, 2016

Ugh... this does not sit quite right with me. I'm all for nail polish and every woman and man being able to live out their masculinity and femininity (because both men and women have both masculine and feminine traits) but I get so frustrated that for women our public presence is still so defined by our bodies. That is sexism. That is sexism. That is sexism. It's great that your pastor friend wore tights; why the hell is anyone commenting on how nice her legs are? I have NEVER said or thought that about my male pastor friends--and there are lots of good reasons, historical and otherwise, for that privilege they receive.

When I see at least one woman wearing more than booty shorts and brassiere on stage I will celebrate that each woman gets to define and own her sexuality. But I have a hard time saying that and feeling intellectually honest when every man at the Super Bowl was fully clothed and every woman close to naked.

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