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Welcome to GroupTalk, a Racked feature where we highlight debates raging on the internet's fashion, beauty and fitness forums.
Time released its annual "100 Most Influential People" list with Beyoncé on the cover wearing a sheer tee over a white bikini and stick-straight blonde hair. Sheryl Sandberg was tapped to write the accompanying article, which focuses on the performer's particular influence on other women. "Beyoncé has insisted that girls 'run the world' and declared, 'I'm not bossy, I'm the boss,'" writes Sandberg. "She raises her voice both on and offstage to urge women to be independent and lead."
Comments on Time's Facebook post don't reference Sandberg's explainer on the choice, but instead focus on Bey's semi-undressed state. Some observations:
· "You decide she's the most influential person. In the world. And then you let her grace your cover in her underwear. You don't see how pathetic that is?"
· "Why the hell she has to undressed on this cover?! Really, Time, really?! When was the last time a man was half naked on this cover?!"
· "I am a fan, but why couldn't she wear clothing like everyone else mentioned? This is supposed to be Time Magazine, a reading tool with prestige. We see enough of her crotch in videos. She has not influenced anything, but the ability to sexually express yourself to get attention. I would've been able to see if her sister, Solange was on a cover, influencing fashion and tasteful at that. [...] Come on Time, we get pimped enough by the industry. #stillafan #havemorethought."
Readers also debate the meaning of "influence" and Time's use of it:
· "Really? There was no one else for the cover out of all the really important events happening in the world today? President Vladimir Putin is less important than this person? People shaping policy and fighting Ebola in West Africa are less important than this person? This is nonsense."
· "Not quite sure what either of them [Bey, Pharrell] have done for the world? Time Magazine right, not Rolling Stone."
Of course, let's not overlook the Bey worship:
· "Beyonce has the world in the palm of her hands she's been in this industry for 17 years and has been at the top for each and every one of those years..... You never hear her falling out of clubs drunk, messy divorces, not taking care of her children.... All pop and R&B artist are the complete opposite. Beyonce deserves this cover and to be on that list she can change the world with anything she does GO BEY."
Then it's on to the thigh-gap call-outs (it really wouldn't be a female on the cover of a magazine discussion without it):
· "Wow. Talk about Photoshopping! Isn't she supposed to be a figure for young women?! A natural thigh gap on Beyoncé is like a panda that hates bamboo."