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BEYONCE & THE LURE OF PERFECTION
Photo Credit GQ US February 2013
On a solemn January 21st 2013, Beyonce took on a challenge that was bigger than her and show-biz manipulations. If only she had realised that fact she would not be in the middle of this absurd controversy. On the day the 44th president of The United States was inaugurated for the 2nd time. It is important to put this all in context that event alone was an achievement. The man happened to be the first African American President in a nation that only had abolished slavery in recent years and lost civil rights leaders including Dr Martin Luther King Jr who fell under a cowardly assassination in the 60's. As a result and in remembrance of his life's sacrifice; America has made his birthday a Federal holiday observed and celebrated around the world. The holiday coincided with returning President Barack Obama's historic second oath.
So why is so much ink spilled on both newspapers and the worldwide web about Beyonce's lip sync outrage. "Did she faked it?" The inauguration is not a Superbowl event. The inauguration is a traditional event charged with symbolism; pageantry and intended as a record for future generations. To be invited to sing at such an event is an honor most can't even dream to have in their lifetime; no matter their level of accomplishment. As a singer the expectation is that you will step up to the plate and give it all you got; not all that you can manufacture; leave that for the CD's on the shelves at Bestbuy.
Beyonce, is on the hot seat because she never made secret her desire for perfection. As a result million of fans have come to expect her to rise to the occasion; but instead they felt cheated and let down. They believed she was in a class of her own and they believed she deserved to be there because of such incredible star qualities. People expect stars to be above somewhere in the sky yet visible to the eyes; but nevertheless shinning with true bright colors; not darkness or lies and "fakeness." This is why they turn a blind eye on all the money thrown at them; after all they had to work hard for it. RIGHT?
This is an ideal no star can live up to. Marilyn, failed to be perfect; Michael Jackson, failed to be perfect; James Dean failed to be perfect; Elvis Presley failed ans so did Jimi Hendrix. All stars failed to be perfect. Perfection is not of this world but greatness is. If Beyonce only concerned herself to be great she would not be under fire today. Kelly Clarkson, was also privileged to be invited to sing and sung live. Kelly, was far from perfect but she was great and that was enough. If Beyonce, had sung without a backup song she would have moved us and gave us a rare opportunity to relate to her. A human being is not expected to be perfect; period.
According to scriptures there was a time when a couple name Adam and Eve lived in a perfect place "The Eden Garden". Down bellow on a tree; an apple aroused their curiosity. The temptation facilitated by a snake led them to renounce to their Godly immortal natural condition. They both took a bite at the forbidden fruit and as a result fell from the Garden of Eden; thus became humans. No matter your religion the point here is that in all mythologies; the concept of perfection is an ideal not a destination. You are not expected to be perfect in a living body but only in spirit.
According to show business professionals, Beyonce did the right thing. She wanted to sound great possibly perfect. This did not fared well with the "Hope," movement this president as introduced us to. The same movement that openly integrates everyone. The movement that puts Gay Rights and push them at the forefront of the world conversation. The movement that will possibly reform the immigration laws in the United States of America, a continent built by immigrants. This is a movement conscious of how imperfect the world and America is. Beyonce as an American, is not expected to be perfect; heck not even the 44th president is expected to be perfect; thus is reelection while there is still a sluggish and stubborn economic recovery.
A few years back we lost Michael Jackson, the biggest personified entertainment phenomenon of our times. Similarly Michael Jackson, also a Virgo attempted to reach earth perfection in the body only to be reminded his creative work could only be accepted as such. Beyonce recorded a great song prior to allegedly lip sync over it just like Whitney Houston, Madonna, did and countless singers do in big open arenas; but unlike Beyonce; as I was reminded on a Facebook, post the Superbowl where the fore above singers did it and a president inauguration are two different type of events. I happen to agree. Not everyone love sport; not everyone care for pop music. However an historic event is the only testimony we can leave that will shape future generations about what we were and what values we had.
A solemn inauguration calls for some authenticity because those symbols are the same populations are looking up for truth and daily inspiration. People do not need to know Beyonce, to be proud of her and recognize her talent. It comes a point when that desire to be perfect becomes selfish, grotesque and seems out of touch and ugly. And what's with the fur coats? What's with the constant bleached hair? And why do we even care? Because that illusion of perfection has been pushed on us BY HER trough marketing and advertising manipulation.
Up to this day Beyonce, has not personally commented on the "faking it" scandal. Either ways this would be a relief to hear what she has to say. When a private company like Pepsi signs you to a a reported 60 million contract that makes you an omnipresent figure in people daily lives in all continents; I would suspect you can't at the same time expect to be judged to the same standard as your your contemporaries. Beyonce, whatever you end up saying, stop rehearsing and learn to be authentic. There is something compelling about flaws. There is something outrageously attracting about hearing a celebrity curse, there is something sexy about being imperfect; there is no shame in that.
Now I am not holding my breath. The machine behind Beyonce, is like a huge factory. My guess is that leading to the Superbowl it has been accepted that this fallout could be the best thing that happens to Beyonce, in terms of publicity. There is not such a thing as bad publicity in marketing. So do not look for value here where everything seems to be calculated moves. I will be one in the hundred millions watching to see what Beyonce next move will be.
Now calculation has been mixed with suspense. Now the marketing machine has taken over. Now Beyonce has become for better or worse the center of media scrutiny and fans & non fans expectations. So in the end was it a poor choice to allegedly lip sync at the inauguration. I guess it depends who you ask and who you trust will tell you the truth.
Beyonce is smarter than you think that's the only thing I know for sure. And that my friends is my 4 cents on that - DR