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Beyonce Spirit

Fans think there is a secret message in the hair of Beyoncé's ‘Spirit’


TextAlex Peters

Maybe her hair is full of secrets...

Earlier this week, Beyoncé released the music video for “Spirit,” the lead single from The Lion King: The Gift, a new album accompanying Disney’s CGI reboot of the 90s classic, in which she voices the character Nala. In the video, scenes from the film are intercut with footage of Beyoncé, daughter Blue Ivy, and others dancing in the film’s Pride Lands setting. Being a Beyoncé video, it is, of course, visually stunning but fans have been speculating that there is a deeper message contained in the video – and it’s all in the hair.

In “Spirit,” the female dancers, as well as Blue Ivy and Beyoncé herself are seen with red hair and many people believe this is a message of solidarity with Halle Bailey, who, it was announced recently, is set to star as Ariel in Disney’s upcoming live-action reboot of The Little Mermaid.

Twitter user and Beyoncé stan @mandy_hive2 started the speculation, tweeting: “So are we gonna talk about the implications of Beyoncé having all these black women including her daughter with RED HAIR after the redhead debate that ensued over Halle Bailey being cast as Ariel? That was intentional. We are going to have a dialogue!”

The tweet went viral, racking up over 30k retweets and 126k likes in two days. While some people remained unconvinced by the theory, “It's not about Ariel. It's supposed to call back to Simba's red mane of hair in the original cartoon version. Women can be kings, etc.” argued user @Stan_Seulgi, others were fully on board. 

“Her mind. Ugh! Instead of ranting on social media, she just makes statements with her music and art. No wonder they HATE to see it,” commented @latdaw2012.

“OMG YES!!!! I didn’t even catch that! Thank you for pointing it out! Beyoncé’s message is definitely loud and clear!” added @MJFinesseLover.

The idea that the hair in ‘Spirit’ has a hidden meaning of support for Bailey is not inconceivable. Beyoncé has been a mentor to Bailey and her sister Chloe, championing the two sisters over the years, inviting them to open the US leg of her tour with Jay-Z and casting them in her music video for “All Night.” Some fans even speculated that Beyoncé, herself, had a hand in the casting of Bailey in The Little Mermaid.

While the news of Bailey’s casting as Ariel was, rightly, met with general excitement, there were some on social media who felt more negatively about the news and the fact that the mermaid would be played by a black woman, with #NotMyAriel trending on twitter. Many of these people held onto the fact that Ariel, famously, has red hair and therefore could only be portrayed as white.

Whether intentional or not, Beyoncé’s video is a perfect reply to these racist views, showing that not only can black women have red hair but they look fierce AF with it, too.

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