“I am very unpredictable,” Beyonce said on last night’s concert special about her, and, uh, that is just not true. She is a lot of things — talented, beloved, a non-stop hit-maker — but she’s also one of our most reliable celebrities. We count on her to be beautiful, to make top-40 jams we’ll shout along to in the car, to be essentially scandal-free. “Beyonce: I Am…Yours” was one giant (fun!) infomercial for her brand of lovely diligence, but its title, like its star’s declarations about herself, wasn’t quite accurate: Are there performers less “ours” than Beyonce? I can’t think of one.
Look, this special was totally enjoyable, and the concert footage demonstrated for the jillionth time that Beyonce is one hell of a performer — she can command an entire stadium’s attention with the arch of an eyebrow. (Being in a leotard helps.) She has an awesome all-female band, and everyone in it respects and admires her. Beyonce is a very hard worker, and when we’re extremely lucky, we get to see her interact with her husband for a second or two.
But she’s also elusive, and even telling her own origin story glosses over details that everyone in the audience already knows. If you’re going to bring up the old days of Destiny’s Child, do you want to utter the words “Michelle” or “Kelly”? If you show footage from the then-tween group’s debut on Star Search, might you mention that yes, there were six people in the group at the time? No on all counts. She says that she wrote “Crazy in Love” when she was falling for Jay-Z, whose name she doesn’t say (actin’ kinda shady?), but she doesn’t mention anything beyond that. It’s fine — that’s her right, certainly, to try to retain a shred of privacy — but this hardly makes her ours.
And that’s how I, at least, want it: Beyonce’s best anthems have always been about selfhood, independence, confidence, and ladypower. I just wish this special had the balls to call itself “I Am…Mine” and admit that among the many things we admire about Beyonce is that she’s not ours. In fact the opposite’s true. We’re hers.
Photo credit: Isaac Brekken/WireImage.com