Beyoncé is the woman the media loves to tear down. I used to think it was just a case of tall poppy syndrome. When a person reaches a certain level of success, there's an ugly but distinctly human desire to give them a reality check. It happened to Michael Jackson, Madonna and basically anyone else worthy of icon status. But I think the Bey hate goes beyond that.
First there was the baby bump debacle. I can't think of a more disgusting thing to accuse a woman of than faking her pregnancy (particularly without proof) but that didn't stop every media outlet running with the story. It turned out to be bullshit - as evidenced by the sonogram footage in her upcoming documentary - but nobody apologised.
Then there was the "Countdown" video scandal. The director lifted a couple of dance moves from an obscure ballet and King B was dragged over the coals despite the fact that her contemporaries (Rihanna and Kelly Rowland for starters) were stealing entire video concepts with no backlash.
That takes us to the legendary diva's performance of "Star Spangled Banner" at President Obama's inauguration. It was widely praised as the best rendition of all time but then someone from the Marine band accused her of lip-syncing (a statement that was later retracted) and she became public enemy number one. There was a school shooting in America earlier today but the top story was "Beyoncé mimed the national anthem".
There is so much wrong with this situation. Why are the damn marines reaching out to entertainment reporters with gossip in the first place? Is the American military that thirsty for attention? More disturbingly, why was the source not checked before everyone started throwing accusations? I thought that was the basis of solid journalism and was drilled into my head on the first day of my degree. The person ultimately retracted their comment but the damage was done and bitches will, no doubt, be sharpening their knives for the Superbowl performance.
It's clear from the video of the inauguration that something was going on with the audio. Bey removed her earpiece half-way through and looked visibly agitated. You can also hear her breathing and see a damn vein popping on her head, so she was definitely singing live. Perhaps she was accompanied by a backing tape. I don't know and I don't care. I've seen Mariah mime. I've seen Aretha mime. Hell, Britney probably mimes when she sings her children a lullaby before tucking them into bed at night. We all know they (well, at least the first two) can sing, so I assume there was another reason for their decision to give their voice a rest. It doesn't make me think any less of them.
The question remains - why does Beysus get such a raw deal? Jealousy and racism are the obvious answers. The Queen of all genres is just a little too perfect. If Beyoncé was being smacked around by a boyfriend or popping pills, she would get the sympathy vote. Instead, she's happily married and the poster girl for female empowerment. It clearly annoys people that she's almost supernaturally talented, scarily beautiful, filthy rich and very well-connected. That's a dangerous enough combination but when you throw in the colour of her skin, people get even more uncomfortable.
Today's trial by media was a new low point for everyone involved. After slaying with this album, Bey should just go away and enjoy her perfect life. We don't deserve her.