Oh Bey. You have taught us much over the years. You showed us that it was okay to wear head to toe PVC while using made up words like ‘bug-a-boo.’ You showed us that writhing around semi naked on many a floor could be, dare we say it, empowering. And, perhaps most significantly of all, you showed us that creating an empire was a realistic goal in life.
But then you did something kinda weird, Bey. You kinda took that empire, and then crapped all over it.
Now don’t get me wrong, Beyoncé is still pretty much the best woman alive EVER (yeah yeah Mother Theresa blah blah blah), but there’s something ever so slightly crushing and confusing about her lip-synching of the USA’s national anthem at President Obama’s re-inauguration earlier this week. It hasn’t been revealed why the decision not to sing live came about, or indeed whose idea it was (are we still allowed to blame Mitt Romney for stuff?) but there’s no denying that this saga is a little bit of a blip on an otherwise squeaky clean record.
I know for a fact that I was not the only one to shed a tear or seven watching that incredible rendition of Star Spangled Banner. I know this because I cry approximately once per year, so I make sure I only disturb my otherwise dormant tear ducts for something really bloody good. And that is why I can’t help but feel a little bit resentful of Queen Knowles, and not just for the usual reasons of her amazing talent, shedloads of money and ability to make a smash hit song about being single without seeming hypocritical when she was loved up with one of the most lucrative rappers in the biz. Nope, none of that (although maybe some of that). It’s because she took my precious annual crying allowance – and perhaps yours too - and we are NEVER getting those tears back. All I’m saying is, if anything bad happens to her this year and I’m unable to start the waterworks, she’ll only have herself to blame.
But it strikes me that there is a more pressing issue going on here than my latent eye juice, and I think it is the fact that Beyoncé has emerged from what could have been a career damaging scandal as more fabulous than ever. I’m serious. For starters, she’s so busy being super-duper amazing all the time that she’s rarely had to bother herself with any kind of backlash, undulating in global stardom that has remained largely untarnished for a good 15 years. But this little debacle has shown that she’s not totally perfect: she’s got a naughty side, dammit! Halle-bloody-lujah. We love her even more than we did five seconds ago.
The other portion of her increased fabulousness comes from the fact she kept shtum while rumours went flying about her not singing live. She didn’t start mud-slinging, or even try and defend herself. She just got on with it. This woman is a saint.
To be honest, if there was one person who could come out of deceiving the world seeming even cooler than before, it was always going to be Bey. Forget how good that recording sounded, her lip-synching was practically an art in itself, from the wiggly finger to that dramatic removal of the earpiece. Yes, she lied, and in doing so shook the very foundations of our being. But she also did a kick-ass performance, totally owned a scandal and therefore we have no option but to restore her to the throne of universal adoration.
Well played, Bey.