By: Gabriela Yareliz
Today, we are heading into Beyoncé’s B’day album– “Irreplaceable.” It’s a favorite that would always come on the radio when I was driving in my Drivers Ed class; a class which thoroughly traumatized me. This was the song I parallel parked to for the first time. Memories.
“Irreplaceable” remains one of my Beyoncé favorites. Listen, I am not a super Beyoncé fan. I appreciate her music like I do the next person’s music. I don’t like many of her songs that topped the charts or the annoying “Single Ladies” (though, if you like it, you should put a ring on it). But this is my jam. It’s a song of empowerment where the protagonist has been cheated on, and she is throwing the disgusting man out. Who can forget the iconic, “to the left, to the left, everything you own in the box to the left”? I probably should not have listened to this song while in Drivers Ed, as when I first started driving, I was driving on the left side of the road (the wrong side, here).
Beyoncé shows herself to be an independent woman who is telling the guy, “if I bought please don’t touch.” I love when she approaches him and starts taking his sweater off so she can keep it because she paid for it. Can we stop here and just note that I believe every woman should have a life before she unites her life with someone else. You should be able to provide for yourself and not have to rely on someone else. When we are in a position of reliance, we tend to accept unhealthy behaviors and abuse because we don’t have the means, resources or confidence to leave a situation or person. This song shows us the opposite– a woman who can be on her own and honor her self worth.
The protagonist in the video is ready to see this man go; she sings, “Could you walk and talk at the same time?” YES. The man in the song is trying to manipulate her by making it seem that she can’t do better (“Standing in the front yard, tellin’ me how I’m such a fool, talking ’bout how I’ll never ever find a man like you”). Throughout the whole song, she is letting him know that she knows he cheated (so he is not slick– he was driving her around in the car she got him), and she is not going to tolerate it. He is not “irreplaceable.”
The part that really makes you want to rally (or at least makes me want to rally) is when she sings, “You must not know ’bout me.” This song is very much a departure from the romanticism that tends to seep into songs and literature; this attitude that you can die from a broken heart and never find love again. This woman is like, No, get out, and I will find someone who treats me better. And again, the best part is, she doesn’t need someone. She is complete on her own.
It’s not about arrogance or pride– but about knowing who you are and how you deserve to be treated. Beyoncé, in this song, gives us so many quotable lines. She hammers her point home with one of my favorite lines, “So since I’m not your everything, how about I’ll be nothing? Baby, I won’t shed a tear for you; I won’t lose a wink of sleep.”
This is a song I sing at the top of my lungs, and you should to. A person who doesn’t respect you is not irreplaceable. Don’t shed a tear. Just let them know they can keep packing to the left.