Beyoncé Park: Perfectionism and Purpose
ELLE Magazine has released more images from the Beyoncé ELLE worldwide takeover to promote Ivy Park. Excerpts from the “interview” have also been published, with the full piece going digital tomorrow. The magazine is calling it a “rare in-depth interview”. And we know this is remarkable because Beyoncé doesn’t talk to the media anymore. They’re saying that she “speaks candidly” for this piece in “conversation with Tamar Gottesman”.
This sounded familiar to me. Noam Gottesman, heard of him? Billionaire hedge fund manager and was on the 2014 Forbes list of the richest people in America. Beyoncé and Jay Z are tight with him. They were at his wedding last year. Gottesman has children from a previous marriage and is old school rich in that his personal business isn’t for public consumption. But I did come across a partial article that mentions two daughters – Maya and… Tamar.
What does this have to do with anything?
Well it has to do with Beyoncé. And access to Beyoncé. And what getting access to Beyoncé looks like. Who gets access to Beyoncé? And how much will that access yield for this piece in ELLE (which I’m trying to read tomorrow). Because the excerpts right now are just three questions and three straight up answers. You know how you’ll read a VOGUE profile or an Esquire feature or whatever and the writer’s exposition will include details about how and when s/he met with the subject and observations about how the subject behaved in the car, etc? Here’s an example, from the current issue of VOGUE, with Rihanna – in the writer’s voice:
It’s Super Bowl Sunday, and I am in the large gothic home of Real Housewife Carlton Gebbia in Beverly Hills, the setting for Rihanna’s Vogue shoot. The 28-year-old singer appears in the doorway, fresh off a plane from Toronto, where the night before she and Drake wrapped the video for their hit single “Work.” She is wearing a vintage Guess leather biker jacket, a gray Star Wars T-shirt, and green Vetements sweatpants, her sleek black hair chopped into a blunt nineties bob. Even such a Netflix-and-chill look cannot conceal the singular proportions of her body. She hugs me hello and then floats upstairs, where hair and makeup stylists await.
Right? This is not the same as an interview where it’s simply question and answer. Because if it’s just question and answer, it could have happened over email. Last month, Kerry Washington was on the cover of ELLE (US). The style of that article, in the digital and newsstand version, is similar to what I just highlighted of Rihanna in VOGUE. She met with the writer at the Sunset Tower. They talked about vegetables. The writer describes her eyes, how big they are, how they focus on who she’s talking to. So, in theory, this is what we should be reading tomorrow when ELLE makes the full Beyoncé piece available for digital download, right? Typically though, magazines publicise these exclusives with some notable soundbites, quotes that are guaranteed to generate online traffic, the “juiciest” remarks from the articles. Click here to read what they’ve excerpted from Beyoncé. Nothing really juicy here. How much more interesting do you think the full version is going to be?