After a week dominated by speculation around the Carter-Knowles family’s interpersonal drama, Beyoncé and Jay Z want the gossip to stop. The couple released an official statement on the footage obtained from the Standard Hotel elevator, concluding that Solange‘s behavior was not the result of drunkenness and all families have their issues. The claim that Bey, Jay, Solange et al. are “no different” from other families is up for debate.
While Beyoncé’s personal life is largely kept from public view, she’s had multiple recorded falls from grace over the last three years. But is a family fight in a confined space more damaging than potentially faking a pregnancy or lip-synching in front of the president? Let’s explore.
Beyoncé Scandal 1: Faking a Pregnancy (2011)
After proudly announcing her pregnancy at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, a confusing interview moment captured on camera started an uproar. Beyoncé’s baby bump — proudly displayed on the VMAs red carpet — seemed to disappear (or at least flatten) before our very eyes. This, combined with a inconsistent pregnancy timeline lead truthers to claim she was faking her pregnancy and that she and Jay were actually using a surrogate. Beyoncé never spoke on the matter, but did reference these rumors in her 2013 documentary, Life Is But A Dream. The HBO film showed pictures of a sonogram as well as Beyonce’s pregnant belly. For the record, the belly was shown from the neck down, so conspiracy theorists still have something to run with.
Beyoncé Scandal 2: Lip-Synching at the Presidential Inauguration (2013)
Beyoncé was on hand to sing the National Anthem at President Obama’s second inauguration. All eyes were on her and the event, and she delivered an inspiring performance in frigid Washington temperatures. After it was all over (and Kelly Clarkson delivered similarly chill-inducing vocals) the authenticity of her performance was called into question. Before many could lump her in with Ashlee Simpson, Milli Vanilli and other publicly shamed lip-synchers, Beyoncé addressed her performance herself. (Sense a pattern here?) She admitted to singing along to a pre-recorded track (due to the time, weather and lack of rehearsal), sang the National Anthem live and assured us that she would “absolutely” be singing that way during the halftime show. And if you remember, her performance was nothing short of epic.
Beyoncé Scandal 3: Solange’s Elevator Breakdown (2014)
Beyoncé, Jay Z and Solange all get into an elevator at the Standard Hotel, following an after party for the annual Met Ball. Moments later, Solange is seen pushing, kicking and screaming at Jay Z, while her sister remains motionless. The footage was leaked from a member of the hotel’s staff and obviously captures a private moment the family never intended for others to see. After a few days in the news cycle and some cryptic Instagram activity, the family released an official statement. The Standard employee who sold the footage has since been fired, and both Bey and Solange have posted Instagram photos of each other. Case closed? Not exactly. This might be the most damaging scandal to date because it completely disrupted the previously established public opinion. Beyoncé and Jay Z have spent over a decade crafting and curating what appears to be a perfect life. We all have our own problems, but seeing family members that upset with one another leads to many questions. Beyoncé’s ability to hold back from the fight, and quickly turn on her smile for the cameras outside, only makes her seem more detached from reality than she’s already been accused of being. Does she not feel? Can she not live? As a musician and live performer, her talent speaks for itself; seeing her live is a gift. As fans, we don’t need to know anything about her personal life. We can enjoy her music and respect her privacy without having to believe in a contrived and Photoshopped version of perfection. But being lured into an idea of a dream-like life — when the reality is anything but — just leaves us feeling played. Why would the ***flawless creature whose music inspires us all to be better need to be anything but herself?
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