Remember when Beyonce complained about her unflattering photos after the Super Bowl? Click here for a refresher. That’s what happens when you complain. If you don’t complain, no one notices. As soon as you do complain, they notice all the time. And then they meme your ass. There’s an Ugly Beyonce meme generator, did you know this?
Beyonce is on tour now for The Mrs Carter Show. To prevent sh-tty pictures of her from being taken and then distributed, her management has banned photographers from her shows and is instead releasing approved shots taken by a photographer on staff. In other words, she’s personally curating her image collection so that you will only see her best side(s). Needless to say, photo agencies are circumventing the Beyonce photo restrictions by purchasing photos from fans, or sneaking into the venues and shooting whatever they can. And, since she’s so paranoid about the bad looking ones, they’re purposefully trying to get more of those. Click here or more information on the situation.
So why does she bother?
Well, Beyonce is Beyonce, as a brand. Beyonce doesn’t see herself as an actual person. Beyonce sees herself as a corporation. She’s the Coca-Cola of her universe. She’s the McDonald’s of her world. You know how McDonald’s would come after your ass if you borrowed the golden arches and used it on your fliers? With Beyonce it’s the same philosophy. She’s copyrighting herself. Poor photos of Beyonce, in Beyonce’s mind, constitute copyright infringement. Beyonce is flawless, obviously. Anything that suggests otherwise is a violation of Beyonce’s copyright.
Here are some pictures of Beyonce that Beyonce put on her Tumblr. As you can see, they’re well in line with the corporate mission statement. Especially if you’re taking a look at her from behind. That’s a fine ass.
But why is Beyonce’s control over Beyonce so offensive? Could it be argued that Beyonce’s approach is simply an exaggerated version of our own approach to our own imagery? Isn’t that what we do on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter? At a Faculty of Celebrity Studies event last week in Winnipeg, I asked what Facebook is for. Someone candidly answered that it was for Self Presentation.
Be honest -- how often do you post unflattering photos of yourself on the social network? Don’t you zoom first to make sure no one can see your zit? Don’t we all know by now our best angle in a selfie? Hasn’t it become customary to solicit everyone’s feedback on the group shot before throwing it up on Instagram? Vanity lives at the heart of it. Beyonce’s vanity is serviced and supported by her wealth and access and influence. What if our vanity was serviced and supported by wealth and access and influence? Would our vanity become obscene?
Also attached -- official video footage from the tour. Something about sequined shoes in that shape always cracks me up. It’s like Minnie Mouse.