When it comes to Beyonce, there's a feeling of incontrovertible allegiance bubbling through the pop culture ether. Her disciples -- of which there is an abundance -- express their praise by espousing the nearly universal idea that Queen Bey can do no wrong, that her very being is somehow enshrouded in perfection. It's practically a tenet adopted upon entry into the Beyonce coterie: If you are a true fan, you will worship dutifully, without exception and at any moment you are called upon to do so, amen.
But it's dangerous when a superstar's legion of fans become so overzealous. At best, there's a risk of Kardashian-style ubiquity, where home pages, including our own, become a repository for one headline after the next about an individual's every move. At worst, there's the chance of a massive breakdown (a la Britney Spears) or even the buildup to a tragic death (RIP Michael Jackson).
I don't think anyone is worried about Beyonce veering anywhere near the paths that befell Spears and Jackson. But I do worry that her horde of superfans will never let up and that, despite her immense talent, she'll trickle into the land of intense pervasiveness -- if she hasn't already, that is.
So let's come back down to earth, shall we? No one's here to convince you not to like Beyonce. Please, by all means, like away. We all know she's capable of doing everything -- she's a Grammy-winning singer, a Golden Globe-nominated actress, a Super Bowl-dominating dancer, a Destiny's Child-leading frontwoman, a cover girl, a presidential ally, the proprietor of a fashion line, the director of her own documentary. I'm not disputing the talent, the beauty or the charisma. I am arguing, however, for an acute case of burgeoning overexposure and a precarious brand of sycophancy. I'm also maintaining that, in your heart of hearts, you're aware this phenomenon is taking over and that your ruler is becoming a bit too godlike among her worshippers.
Allow us, therefore, to restore order to the galaxy. If everyone is unable to dismiss this over-infatuation, then eventually the world may tire of Beyonce, like it has so many other once-prolific celebrities. To prove this incredibly abstract theory -- that while Beyonce might run the world, she is, in fact, not perfect (gasp!) -- here is evidence of her not-so-flawless status. So now, Beyonce stalwarts, continue your adoration, but please, I beg of you -- tame yourselves, repent of your idolatry and dismiss this brainwashed loyalty before we enter Stage 5 Inundation.
1. We'll start with the obvious: the time she lip-synced the national anthem
2. The time this photo made its way around the Internet -- and then she asked for it to be taken down
3. The time she staged a Destiny's Child reunion, then proceeded to turn the volume on Kelly and Michelle's microphones lower than hers and force them to sing one of her solo songs about how great it is to be on your own
4. The time she rocked the Super Bowl and Madonna still topped her in the ratings
5. The time she took this massive tumble at a concert
6. The time she revealed she might be a supreme narcissist
Anytime she wants to remind herself of all that work--or almost anything else that's ever happened in her life--all she has to do is walk down the hall. There, across from the narrow conference room in which you are interviewing her, is another long, narrow room that contains the official Beyoncé archive, a temperature-controlled digital-storage facility that contains virtually every existing photograph of her, starting with the very first frames taken of Destiny's Child, the '90s girl group she once fronted; every interview she's ever done; every video of every show she's ever performed; every diary entry she's ever recorded while looking into the unblinking eye of her laptop. ... Beyoncé's inner sanctum also contains thousands of hours of private footage, compiled by a "visual director" Beyoncé employs who has shot practically her every waking moment, up to sixteen hours a day, since 2005. ... This digital database, modeled loosely on NBC's library, is a work in progress--the labeling, date-stamping, and cross-referencing has been under way for two years, and it'll be several months before that process is complete. [GQ]
7. The time she revealed, in the same interview, that she is "****ing crazy," as Gawker puts it
"I now know that, yes, I am powerful," she says. "I'm more powerful than my mind can even digest and understand." [GQ]
8. The time she wore an extremely flouncy dress while dancing and then acted surprised when it flew up and revealed her golden undergarments
9. The time she made this little boy cry
10. The time Jennifer Hudson totally upstaged her in "Dreamgirls"
11. The time she caused us to endure this
12. The time she was accused of plagiarizing dance moves in the "Countdown" video
13. The time she was accused of plagiarizing dance movies in the "Single Ladies" video
14. The time A.O. Scott wrote this about her questionable performance in "The Fighting Temptations"
[Beyonce] performs several numbers, among them the decidedly ungodly ''Fever,'' as well as some more wholesome songs, as if to demonstrate that she can be beatified and bootylicious without contradiction. Unfortunately, she is not very convincing either way, giving off neither sensual heat nor spiritual radiance. [Cuba Gooding Jr.] can be so irrepressibly bouncy that you want to swat him with a tennis racket, but even his kinetic energy cannot keep the movie from lurching and stumbling. And Beyonce's emotional inertia smothers all his hardworking joy and breathless spontaneity. [The New York Times]