Mastur-BEY-ting: the story of an audience scorned

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Beyoncé is beloved.

Her Bey-volution is what ‘Girl Power’ was to the Spice Girls.

Until now, she could do no wrong. Even after her GQ interview, where she said “I now know that, yes, I am powerful…I’m more powerful than my mind can even digest and understand,” people weren’t that put off by the lady with the Bey-das touch.

And then she decided to lip-sync at Obama’s inauguration on Martin Luther King day. And how dare she. The nerve.

Beyoncé has joined the following artists in the lip-sync club: Queen, Luciano Pavarotti, Milli Vanilli, Ashlee Simpson, Britney Spears, Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar, Muhammad Rafi, Asha Bhosle, 50 Cent, Bananarama, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Hudson, Whitney Houston, Depeche Mode and Faith Hill.

The list of names doesn’t make not-singing okay, sure. But it doesn’t make it a travesty. Beyoncé is a designer performer. She’s designed to satisfy your appetites with her singing and dancing, and the illusion of her singing and dancing. Chances are, this isn’t the first time Beyoncé lip-synced for her lifeblood. And chances are, it isn’t her last. But what it doesn’t mean is that she’s been playing you for a fool her entire career. And even if she has, what does it matter? Is this the 2013 call for affirmative action for real-singing performers? Take a look at Beyoncé’s Billboard Music Awards performance again (youtu.be/9SnQ6HGocfc). Now, if she is lip-syncing there, does it matter? That is one incredible, satisfying, performance. If I found out she was lip-syncing, I would still walk away feeling pretty good about what I had just witnessed. I’d still think that girls run the world.

So, strip away the fact that it was the national anthem, and that she needed assistance for something so patriotic. Take away that this was at the President’s inauguration. Was it a good performance? Did people enjoy it? Yep. And there you go.

Beyoncé isn’t Mother Theresa, and she isn’t as perfect as the photos—she’s hired someone to take of her for two years—suggest. Woops, she’s a real person. Welcome to your problem with celebrity.

 

 

 

 

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