Co-authored by Mary Wilson
Beyoncé is a talented multitasker. How do I know this? Who else can sell over 1 million records without an ounce of promotion while at the same time being a mother and wife? Yeah, me either.
Through recent post-Met Gala events recently captured on an elevator security camera and released to the word, we caught a glimpse of the less-than-fabulous part of her life, or maybe just the real part. In the video seen around the world, we witness her younger sister, Solange, attacking and yelling at her husband, Jay Z. A security guard is forced to restrain a clearly enraged Solange, while Beyoncé barely attempts to stop the madness. This altercation ended with Beyoncé leaving the event with her sister, Jay Z taking a separate car, and a barrage of unanswered questions.
But to some, the strangest part of the whole scene wasn't the brother-in-law/sister-in-law feud but the fact that Beyoncé just stood there. It was the fact that a couple of minutes after the physical fight in the elevator, she walked out like nothing had happened.
In the days following the event, Beyoncé was spotted courtside at a Brooklyn Nets game with her husband, apparently happily in love. I am a huge fan of Beyoncé, but I found it very odd. In the midst of this controversy, she just sat there and pretended that everything was OK? Now let's be clear: B never said "I'm fine," but in my opinion, her smile did.
So what is really going on here? Was this just a random family feud that ended with hugs and kisses, or was that video a peek into a larger issue that is cleverly being covered up for the sake of family and image? I think the latter.
In a world where celebrities (and non-celebrities) will sell their souls for a few dollars and Instagram "likes," Beyoncé has always set herself apart by keeping her private life private. With her fame, her music telling girls to "run the world," and her participation in campaign initiatives such as "Ban Bossy," she has aimed to empower women and mothers. With that being said, at what point does keeping her life private and saving face in the midst of turmoil tarnish her message to women?
I believe it does, since it tells women everywhere that no matter how chaotic your life may be, you must act like you got this down -- as usual.
As women and mothers, we are expected to deal with issues at home, privately, and never let the world know the truth, for fear of being viewed as weak or imperfect.
Were you too tired to feed your kid that meal of protein and whole-wheat pasta that you promised yourself you would make, so you bought pizza instead?
Did you leave your iPhone on top of the car (again) because your brain isn't working today? That's a totally true story, by the way (unfortunately).
Did you go to work and pretend you hadn't just had a fight with your husband?
Are you seeing a therapist but lying about where you are from 7 to 8 p.m.?
Do you have no problem pretending in public that you don't care about what you weigh, when in reality every time you take a bite, you think about how you need to stop taking bites?
Why are we like this?
Like it or not, I don't know why women are shocked. We all do the same thing Beyoncé did. And we do it every day. She has her image, her family and her career to maintain. We're really not that different. Granted, I don't get to go on my private yacht all the time, but I digress.
We are constantly surrounded by examples of "perfect" women feeding us false examples that are impossible to achieve. In reality life happens, and life is full of failures and lessons learned. How are we supposed to look up to a celebrity like Beyoncé who brushes these life lessons under the rug and walks away with a forced smile? It's conflicting that all of us shout "girl power" from the rooftops while simultaneously wearing the same fake smiles.
You know what I would've loved? If Beyoncé had gone off herself. If we'd been able to hear that audio. If Beyoncé had cursed out Solange or Jay Z or, better yet, the paparazzi waiting outside!
I would've said, "Finally!"
In "Pretty Hurts," a song on her newest album, Beyoncé sings, "We try to fix something, but you can't fix what you can't see. It's the soul that needs the surgery." The question is: When do we women drop the façade and admit what's really wrong?
Granted, in the real world, that might mean addressing a less-than-perfect marriage or a less-than-perfect career or just admitting, "No, everything is not fine, actually." When was the last time you heard that from a friend? Probably never, because as much as people look on in awe as Beyoncé pretends that everything in her life is fine, most people do the same thing every day, programmed to just keep going and keep smiling.
Why do we all feel like we have to maintain perfection, especially black women? Is it the constant stream of social-media comparisons to keep up with? Is it the fact that we were taught to always hold it together, even when it's all falling apart?
When do we drop the façade? When do we black women stop thinking that allowing ourselves to feel is weakness? When do we stop saying "I'm fine"?