Even though March felt like it was a century long, we’re now into April and the summer months feel like they’re within our grasp. That also means that it’s almost a year since Hot Girl Summer, both the song and the internet meme/movement. Aptly, Megan Thee Stallion covers Marie Claire’s May 2020 issue, and it’s an amazing cover story.
Most outlets are picking up Megan’s comments on the rap industry:
“A man can be as mediocre as he wants to be but still be praised,” she argues. “A man can talk about how he’s about to do all of these drugs and then come and shoot your house up. But as soon as I say something about my vagina, it’s the end of the world?”
She also rightly points out that the anger is misplaced. It’s not about the sex, it’s about something else.
“I’m not rapping about licking on you. No, you’re going to do what I told you to do, and I feel like sometimes that can be a little intimidating....Sometimes it’s overwhelming to some men. They can’t handle it, they get a little shook, they get a little scared.”
These comments are just the tip of the iceberg. The larger story in the profile is her amazing work ethic. In addition to music, Megan is pursuing her degree in healthcare administration through online classes at Texas Southern University. She’s also writing her own horror film. Like girl, I can barely get laundry done these days. But that’s not the energy Megan wants us to have.
The article opens with Lola Ogunnaike and Megan travelling from NYC to Connecticut. Megan is watching herself on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
“When I ask her to rate her performance, her response is as quick as it is assured. No false modesty. No self-deprecating hedges. No need to pretend that she didn’t kill it. ‘I would definitely give me a 10,’ she says. ‘The outfits were awesome, the production came out really good, the whole team was happy, so we get a 10.’”
Notice how she rates herself a 10? That’s powerful. Megan is of course capable criticizing herself and striving for better. But that’s not what the moment in the van is about. It’s about allowing herself the space to celebrate her work and her process. Many of us struggle with imposter syndrome and feel the need to check ourselves. Women feel this pressure even more because modesty is supposed to be a woman’s domain. And for Megan, who works in a male dominated industry, that push is even stronger.
Being able to sit back and pat herself on the back for an amazing performance is part of Megan’s work. She repeats what she said earlier in her Paper Mag profile. Her mother was a hip-hop artist. She’s seen the dedication of the matriarchs of her family, and hard work begets hard work. To Megan, it’s a no-brainer. She also understands the importance of having idols and representations of women who are unapologetic about their success. That’s why Megan’s take on the double standards for women is an interesting one.
“I know that women are powerful. I know that we are out here birthing people. I know that we are out here running sh-t, so I can’t even be mad at you for thinking that we should be held to a high standard,” she says. “We’re the ultimate beings. We are the superior beings.”
Megan is selling us attitude. It’s what has made her successful, and it’s also what makes her music so irresistibly popular. The power of the Hot Girl Summer movement, and something that Ogunnaike points out in the story, is that it allowed anyone to feel confident and sexy. Having a Hot Girl Summer didn’t mean having a certain body or acting a certain way. Hot Girl Summer was an attitude. A state of being.
My favourite part of the interview is that despite the fact that she oozes confidence throughout the article, Megan thinks about the Queen’s approval:
“Meg admits she often wonders what Queen Bey would make of her choices. ‘I know I’m not doing sh-t that Beyoncé would do.’ She shakes her head. ‘Half the time, I’m like “Damn, Beyoncé would not be proud of this.”
Work respects work, and I think the Queen would approve. Is there room for another Megan under the protection of the Beygency?