getting bodied, getting bodied, getting bodied, getting bodied, want my body, won’t you get me bodied, you want my body, won’t you get me bodied, can you get me bodied, I wanna be myself tonight
Sometimes I feel like I basically spend my life copying RGR but I was totally going to post this song today anyway probably partly because of that whole “my white beyonce” thing and partly because I have been having a really hard month and am feeling really fragile and so the last day or two I’m pretty much mostly trying to stick to a steady diet of a really specific subset of pop music that’s mostly about being confident (a lot of Jay-Z, Kanye, and Bey, basically). And because B’Day is the actual perfect running soundtrack.
I’m at the point in my hard month when I’m kind of through the worst of the really hard month things and am at the point where I’m ready to be kind to myself, but I’m trying to be kind to myself in ways that don’t involve indulging my worst self.
So: I went running tonight. I don’t really understand how it’s possible, but for some reason my mood is always better after I’ve exercised, I always feel more in control of stuff. The fact that this means that my feelings come from my body is kind of weird to me and not a connection I ever “get” even though obviously they do because even when they’re tied in with “thoughts” the thoughts still come from my brain which is part of my body.
I’ve never been great at physicality, I’ve never been very athletic. I was in “good shape” for about 30 seconds in high school when I accidentally started exercising regularly to pass lifesaving certifications. (I was never a lifeguard, I just did some Red Cross stuff at my community pool.) B’Day had been out awhile the summer I took up running; it was the summer of 2007, the summer between the first and second years of my MA, so I kind of had the summer “off”). I think this was the summer “Irreplaceable” was really big? For some reason I hadn’t really listened to the album a lot before that (despite loving Dangerously In Love), probably because this is much that only makes sense if your body’s involved in it, and I was still figuring out how to understand body music and take it seriously. It was a good summer. I read some books and went to the movies and started running 3 times a week.
I have, and I will, run to other music, but B’Day is the perfect album for a short-ish run. The whole run from “Deja Vu” - “Irreplaceable” is basically perfect. “Resentment” is a good song but it’s too slow and not bouncy enough, unless you’re at a cool down part of your run. (“Irreplaceable” isn’t fast, but it’s mid-tempo which is a fine tempo if you’re as slow a runner as I am and also “You must not know ‘bout me” is a pretty great chorus to run and feel strong and beautiful to.) Then jump over “Listen” to “Check Up On it” and the “Get Me Bodied” remix. (This is how the version of the album I have is sequenced; I wiki’ed to see how many of my favourite songs on this album were produced by Swizz Beatz and it turns out he was involved in most of them that weren’t “Irreplaceable”, but also it turns out there are Deluxe international versions and variant versions with lots of other B’Day era Beyonce songs! (I mean, I don’t really like the Shakira duet even though I really like the idea of Beyonce and Shakira collaborating in general.) I have a mission for when my internet is less spotty than it is today.) All the songs are basically about (musically and lyrically) knowing yourself and having a body and knowing what to do with it. The “Freakum Dress”-“Green Light” moment comes at just the right time, when you’re starting to fade and wonder if you can go on, you get “You’re holdin’ up traffic green means go”. Literally, the first few times I ran, I was like, this is the worst, it will always suck, forever, and I don’t know that I ever would have started to like it without Beyonce. She like, encouraged me. “A little sweat never hurt nobody” is literally the best thing to hear when you’re turning beet red and dripping with sweat and trying to push through even if you feel miserable. I know that encouraging me to exercise isn’t what this album is about (though she did eventually record a version of “Get Me Bodied” especially to encourage schoolchildren to exercise, actually), but that’s basically what it’s about to me.
I didn’t really ever keep it up though. I keep promising myself I’d run more regularly and add more distance but I always manage to get busy and when I get busy running is the thing that always falls by the wayside. But if I’m really feeling tired and out-of-focus and messy, I kind of mope around for a while and then I go for a run to B’Day and I feel a bit better.