OK ladies now let’s get in Formation… is presumably what Beyoncé said to her girlfriends when she called on them to take part in a special photoshoot to mark her 36th birthday.
But her friends aren’t just anyone. Among the list are Destiny’s Child bandmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, former FLOTUS Michelle Obama and tennis champ Serena Williams, all decked out in the same badass black look Queen Bey wore in her Formation video.
This shoot is more than a squad show-off session though, with both the outfit and a people featured holding the utmost significance.
As we know, Formation is a poignant banger of a track about the adversity still faced by people of colour today, in the age of the Black Lives Matter movement. The 2016 song even opens with the voice of a prominent African American YouTuber from New Orleans who was shot down in the street, with his alleged attacker later walking free.
Then there’s her all-black outfit, which is is said to symbolise an era of post-slavery freedom, as she changes from an oppressive white corseted dress into the black ensemble partway through the video.
By kitting out her crew— made up entirely of women of colour— in this look, Beyoncé’s continuing to highlight the strength and power of black women today, whether they’re world-famous stars or close family members.
From Jay Z’s grandmother Hattie White — the voice behind the infamous ‘lemonade’ speech on Bey’s last album— to her own daughter Blue Ivy Carter, it’s clearly a celebration of the amazing women who have gone before us and those who are just getting started.
See them all by flicking through the gallery below…