Before you start screaming and slandering my name, let me just say: I, personally, love Beyoncé. The “Countdown” video is cinematic genius, and I frequently walk (read: stomp) around playing “Diva” on a loop in my head. I take no issue with the lady at all.
Ok. Now that’s over. So who is this satanic fiend who doesn’t like The Queen Bey? My mother.
I always assumed she’d be a shoo-in to the Beyoncé fandom, population: everyone. My mother’s opinions on everything pretty much correspond to those of an avid Beyoncé fan or Beyoncé herself. She’s a huge feminist, likes to dress fierce, voted for Barack Obama, knows how to have a good time and drink a couple, and didn’t change her maiden name (Ok, Beyoncé did that a little—but so did Jay-Z so it’s even). I’m sure the list goes on, but trust me—my mother and Beyoncé are two liberal, awesome, autonomous people.
So what’s not to like, according to my mother (Whose opinion I almost universally accept, excepting when she thinks she’s a doctor and can diagnose me. She has an MBA. It’s not helpful. Sometimes I need to see an MD.)? I honestly don’t think she had developed much of an opinion about Beyoncé until she graced the cover of Vogue a few months ago. Naturally, my household receives two copies of Vogue every month because my sister and I need individual copies. It’s also very convenient to have one in the bathroom and one in the living room or wherever. Just a tip.
When I picked up my copy, my sister quickly came up to me and whispered: “Oh don’t show that to mom. She already saw the other one and she really doesn’t like Beyoncé.” Let’s all react together: WHAAAAAAAAT? My thoughts exactly.
Against my sister’s non confrontational advice, I asked my mother what on earth her problem was. There’s no way to let something like that go without an explanation. Since this isn’t a formal interview of my mother (Which I’m sure you’d all love to read), I’ll paraphrase:
She’s just everywhere. I walk past the newstands and she’s covering all of them. And I hear she made some documentary? I just don’t understand why she has to be so glorified and idolized and absolutely everywhere all the time.
After hearing that, I realized that this had absolutely nothing to do with Beyoncé. I actually doubt my mother could recognize a Beyoncé song. When I explained to her that Jay-Z and Beyoncé both changed their last names, she seemed mildly impressed.
What really irked her was the excessive idolatry of just this one person. I’ve never known my mother to fawn over anyone or get extremely attached and obsessive—maybe all of that Catholic school worked as some reverse psychology on her, for the better. Of course Beyoncé is a massively talented artist in so many ways, but it’s pretty unlikely that she is some kind of deity, nor is any other celebrity or person for that matter.
We are extremely inundated with opportunities to obsess over other people (Case in point: Beyoncé’s tumblr, Facebook to obsess over people we actually know, other creepy forms of obsession, stalking, I don’t know), but maybe we take it a little too far. And when that obsession, whether it’s cultural or personal, grows out of proportion, it can definitely be annoying, worrisome, and wholly unhealthy. I think this is an important problem to acknowledge as we delve further into social media and the depths of the digital, and I agree with my mother in that respect.
But I really would beg her to reconsider her stance on “Hating Beyoncé.” She can’t possibly understand what she’s doing when she says that. Come on, mom: