Dear Gossips,

Last night near the end of her show, after she’d just thrashed through a water pit without missing a note or a dance move during Freedom, Beyoncé told the audience that she’s just a country girl from Texas, that if she can make it, we can all make it and end up where she is. Ummm… I’m not here to disagree with The One…but…

No, Queen. There’s only you.

We are living in the time of Beyoncé. It is a privilege.

I have seen Beyoncé in concert 5 times now. She’s getting better and better. She doesn’t stop during  Formation, not for two hours, and by the end of it, she looks like she can keep going another 4 hours. At one level: the highest level. A hundred wind machines blowing at her and not once does a strand of hair get into her mouth. Complicated choreography throughout and not once does she half-ass a step. On some moves she puts on a stank face and you want to go Braveheart on an imaginary evil army to defend her. Two seconds later she’s giving you that Beyoncé smile, you know the Beyoncé smile? The one that starts from her eyes? I’ve never seen it this adorable. And when it happens you want to start hugging random strangers. All of that from one person…while she’s singing and managing over a dozen dancers and the motorised cameras running on tracks surrounding her and the crew and the band and the entire f-cking operation. After this many years, it still surprises me that she is possible.

There’s more to say. But I want to take more time with it. In the meantime, the New Yorker published yet another think-piece on Beyoncé yesterday, opening with what Beyoncé means to an entire generation of women, and specifically how those women feel about their bodies, giving them permission to be proud of their bodies. It reminded me of an essay I read earlier this week written by Saidat Giwa-Osagie, a “UK born Nigerian girl living in the sparsely populated Highlands of Scotland”, and how watching The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air gave her permission to recognise herself in pop culture. Amazingly, it’s not Will Smith’s character she highlights but Alfonso Ribeiro’s Carlton Banks and the question of the right kind of “blackness”. Carlton, obviously, is the predecessor to this generation’s Junior on Black-ish.

Carlton Banks, trailblazer. Click here to read more.

Yours in gossip,