I am not a Beyoncé/Destiny’s Child historian by any means. But there are some things about Beyoncé’s personal and professional life that I truly admire. Because of this, I tend to place her in a different category than other celebrity wedding and baby news.
Beyoncé has been performing since she was a teenager, until recently managed by her father. It was the family business. And it did quite well. A few years ago, she married a hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, a wildly successful musician, performer, producer and business man. A couple seemingly made for the tabloids, yet they married not in the Kardashian circus manner, but privately. The public was not given daily updates on gowns, expenditures, wedding or reception plans. She got married, is all. And though the couple collaborates from time to time, her celebrity is based on her work, not on her family or her husband’s name. And Jay – Z’s past or continued success does not rely on hers.
Once married, Beyoncé rarely spoke of her wedding, or the details of her marriage. Sometimes she’d appear with her husband, sometimes not. But make no mistake, they have been and are a power couple. He continued working, she continued working their sometimes separate, sometimes combined hit-making machine. Being a wife did not consume nor define her public persona. Though married, she was still Beyoncé. And there were no Kardashian announcements after the wedding, “Now I’m ready for babies.” There were often rumors of babies on the way for Beyoncé and Jay-Z, but not from Beyoncé herself. No, there was no announcement of babies, until there was a baby to announce. I like that.
Then it came, the announcement of a baby. After having been married for years, and on the eve of her 30th birthday, Beyoncé proudly revealed her pregnancy at a major awards show. Yeah, she got major press out of it and that can’t hurt, but because we hadn’t heard of all the baby making efforts and plans, it didn’t seem like the baby was a publicity stunt. I like that, too.
But what does this mean?
Why should it mean anything? It means the same thing it means for all of us, she’s pregnant and God-willing, she’ll have a healthy baby. Duh.
Oh there are the practical considerations. Beyoncé fans and commentators wonder whether she’ll take a year off from her yearly touring schedule. If she does, she deserves the break, if you’ve ever seen one of her concerts or concert DVD’s you know she is one of the hardest working stage performers out there. But if she does take a break, she’ll be okay. (Her fans might die, but she’ll be okay). She maintains at least partial songwriting credits on her hits, so she will continue to receive passive income from commercial use of her material. This means that whether it’s a high school marching band playing Survivor, background music in a television show or movie, or some American Idol hopeful covering Irreplaceable, she’ll get paid — forever. All this in addition to all of the products to which she’s lent her name and likeness, well . . . she’ll be okay. Go ahead and take some time off girl, if you want. In other words, her income is not solely based on the next hit record, her next big tour, or most importantly, the size of her waist. If she doesn’t take a break and launches a tour next year, she’ll have the means to have any type of support she wants, including the kind which will allow her to work and still be with her child. But either way, I doubt we’ll be inundated with daily reports of morning sickness, stories of childbirth, recounts of her weight gain and loss, or the dreaded reality TV show. Her Momma taught her better than that. (Get the Survivor reference? No? Yes?) Oh, and no offense, Tia and Tamera, a cute show, but kinda hard to take you all seriously as Independent Women after that.
Regardless of whether you are a fan of her music, the way Beyoncé has handled her personal life is something to admire — and to teach our daughters and sons. A wedding is for the bride, groom, family and friends to celebrate in a large or small way. But the wedding itself, even a huge wedding, does not have to be an accomplishment to be paraded in the news. Likewise, bringing a child into the world is an important, private, natural decision. Thank you, Beyoncé, for not announcing every fertility attempt and for not acquiring babies seemingly for use as accessories to keep your name in the news. And I know this is old-fashioned, but thank you Beyoncé, for getting married in the first place. If we want our daughters to expect a man “to put a ring on it” before they give him a child and expect his support, well, they should look to Beyoncé. Yeah, she’s half-naked most of the time, but she’s got the pipes to back it up and the business sense to carry her through, plus she’s got a husband to share in bringing a child into this scary world. Plus, she’s pulled off independent success despite being the wife of a mogul in the male dominated hip-hop world, and because of that I have every reason to believe she will pull off her continued success all while making her pregnancy and motherhood a natural course of life, not a sideshow act, not a publicity stunt, not a death knell to her career or to her public appeal.
Just Me With . . . hopes of getting invited to the baby shower, and I’m available to babysit . . . or play in your band or whatever you need Beyoncé . . . ha!