I have to begin this with the disclaimer that I have not watched Beyonces’ videography titled “Lemonade”. I have no desire to watch it, so don’t tell me I should watch it before passing judgement, ’cause I won’t. I simply do not fall at Queen Bey’s feet. I am not a member of the Beyhive. I need to be clear. I do not hate Beyonce. I don’t even dislike her. She is beautiful, has decent music, and is comfortable in her own body. I get why she has a following, I am just not a follower.
I do have to admit I cannot say the phrase “to the left” without finishing the line from the song “Irreplaceable”. “Everything you own in the box to the left.” I know you all sang it too. It’s okay, you can admit it.
“Lemonade” tells a story of betrayal right on through to the stage of forgiveness. Apparently, it is her story of betrayal from Jay-Z, and everyone is wondering who ‘Becky with the good hair” is. This has caused such an outrage people have speculated that ‘Becky’ is Rachel ROY, a designer, but many have confused her with Rachel RAY, the talk show host/cook/magazine publisher/brain surgeon/empire builder and the trolls have come out in force.
How do I know this? I know because every news channel has discussed it ad nauseum. The clips that were shown pretty much told the whole story. What I did get from what I saw was a tremendous amount of self promotion and a fashion show.
Beyonce and her team, including her husband Jay-Z, are nothing if not brilliant at Beyonce’s, shall we say, packaging. She is a highly marketed individual with a fairly good voice. I can’t seem to think though that life is truly imitating art. If you have seen the movie “Dreamgirls” you will understand.
In “Dreamgirls” Beyonce’s character, Deena Jones, is the beautiful one. Effie, played by Oscar Winner Jennifer Hudson, has the voice. Effie doesn’t have the style that the label is looking for even though she can sing the steeple off a church. Jamie Foxx plays the head of the label and chooses beauty over talent. He creates an image, a brand in Deena. Every detail picked for her.
The way she is dressed is impeccable, the music picked to be catchy and hide that her voice isn’t as strong. The “Dreamgirls” take off in the popular culture of the time due to the careful marketing of Beyonce’s character. While that is only part of a more complex plot I think it is safe to say that the girl learned a thing or two from it. I just am not going to be one of the flock buying it.
I can enjoy a bit of Beyonce now and then. I respect her as an artist and a remarkable woman to some degree. I appreciate that she is comfortable with who she is and voices that to other women. I just happen to recognize slick marketing when it is being shoved down my throat in designer clothes.
So Beyonce, you may have turned your lemons into lemonade, that is well and good, I’m happy that you are getting everything you work very hard for, I just can’t join the hive. Those of you who think this is sour grapes, that’s fine with me as I’ll be turning those grapes into a glass of wine. I’m sure we can all agree that a glass of wine is better than lemonade any day.