It doesn't matter where you are, if you were to sing the words "You don't have to be beautiful," there's bound to be someone in the room who's going to finish the line "To turn me on!" Everyone has at least known of Prince and it is an undeniable fact that his life and work has left an impact on the world. What's astounding to me though, is how many gender boundaries Prince broke. He was absolutely and fearlessly himself in a society that profits over the fears and insecurities of the collective. Prince made it clear that you can be completely you, in all of your queerness and not only live confidently, but have an influence.
Growing up seeing pictures and videos of Prince I was unsure how to label him. His gender fluidity and impact was astounding because I was under the impression that if you were something other than the norm, you were highly rejected. This is still true in a sense but I believe that Prince's flawless reluctance in his being is what made his work so impactful. It spoke to us and said "You don't have to fit in a mold or fit into the pretty lines that society has drawn for you." In fact, it made words like You don't have to be beautiful to turn me on almost seem spiritual because what it is saying is that being yourself in all essence is what matters.
I know that be yourself is such a cliche phrase, but I believe that this is what has touched so many of our hearts and why losing Prince feels so awful. I read a comment right after finding out about his death that said "Prince could make your wife fall in love while in women's clothes." Prince did not fit into the pretty lines of society. He broke the beauty and gender standards, and he was lovely all the while. I think, as we mourn the loss of his presence on this earth we should not forget how he taught us all to be bad-asses who transcend the norms and change the lives of others.