I.am.(not?).Beyonce

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by Leandra Medine
August 5, 2013
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Either your Monday Afternoon pick-me-up or put-me-down depending on whether or not you’ve come to terms with yourself.

Last night was the first time that I attended a Beyonce concert. I had an idea of what I could expect given the exhaustive documentation from previous shows that has permeated the internet and cable television in the last several years, but couldn’t quite fathom how or why The Beyonce Concert Experience had been so casually but earnestly referenced as “spiritual,” or “life changing.”

It was only after the singer started to emerge from an escalating platform in the middle of the stage at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn last night that I realized, Holy Magna Carta Grail, I.Am.Beyonce, this is Beyonce. Beyonce!

Prior to that moment, I was complacently seated, sharing popcorn with one Emily Weiss, drinking a Bud Light and strategizing a future exit plan that would obviously include a pit stop at the t-shirt stand–paraphernalia or it never happened, right? (I never got the t-shirt). But when those voluminous, curly gold locks appeared from the inside of center stage and her silhouette became increasingly more palpable as the platform grew higher, her white, crystal embellished body suit, the short boots cloaking her feet (but leaving her naked legs available for mass consumption) and her demeanor, watermarking authentic enthusiasm, was precisely what I anticipated it might look like.

Lights out, lights in, and there she was to greet her congregation. As she began singing, “Who run the world?” A generous bevy of cheerful shrieks echoed through the packed stadium. “Girls!”

And in spite of this year’s earlier White House snafu, she was definitely not lip syncing while she ceaselessly and unwittingly reminded this particular uncoordinated plebeian that Bey’s moves are never not on point. (I felt a little like Amy Poehler circa Mean Girls watching Regina in the Christmas Show while I tried to follow along with her mesmerizing moves). Jay Z is right, he does have the hottest chick in the game.

But what struck me as most interesting about Beyonce’s show manifested in two separate incidents. I was pleased to detect what seemed like a very sincere sense of gratefulness the first time she addressed the crowd. “Thank you for letting me do what I love for 17 years,” she told us before belting out again.

It sounds relatively platitudinal, I understand, but in that moment, something clicked. Beyonce’s fame and talent isn’t for Beyonce. She’s the wind beneath an enormous panoply of wings, quite literally helping her most devout fans and followers get through the humdrum of their every days, slightly more melodically. It takes participating in one of her shows to understand that, though. For a large chunk of the audience, this is actually a religious experience. (Cue the body rolls, the glitter, the sequined tank tops, the sky high leopard print heels, and the finger lights.)

As the show and several costume changes (none of which really included pants) continued, Beyonce halted to summon the audience to repeat after her, “Hey Mrs. Carter. I said hey, Mrs. Carter…”. It left me slightly confounded. Had she actually named this tour after herself as a married entity un-ironically thus inferring the Mr.’s subtle, nuanced help in creating the powerful, independent Beyonce we all know and love?

But what about “I’m a survivor” and “If you like it then you should have put a ring on it,” and “I can have another you in a minute.” Is she singing one thing to us but prescribing for herself something entirely different?

Not really.

Instead of looking at her decision to call the tour, “Mrs. Carter,” through a lens that demarcates perpetual female defeat, there may be some real notes of power to consider in scrutinizing the tour name. Like, for example, a headlining reminder for the rest of her strong, independent, female-but-taken fans that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being in love, in partnership and vocal about it.

Which brings me to the most important question. Am I practically Beyonce? Kidding, guys. I’m totally kidding. But really…?

While you mull that over, we suggest flipping through some of our favorite images (documented above) from her epic Tumblr. Is anyone else about to make the spectacle of a pilgrimage to one of her imminent shows? Written gasps and shrieks of excitement welcome.

REPLIES
  • CarolinaG

    Nice!!!!!
    I’m posting looks from Los Angeles and accessories:

    http://www.thegavlaks.com

  • Renee M

    love love love your language on this topic! You’ve put pen to paper: everything I felt during the concert (my first as well) in London. Spot on!

  • http://www.EatStylePlay.com/ Eat.Style.Play

    I think that’s part of the reason why she named it that. She has her man, her baby and she’s still breaking records, and shattering ceilings. I’m not a Bey Stan by any means but her hard work is enough for me to admire her. She keeps is classy, she is one hell of a performer and no matter what people have to say she is so in love with her husband! She will not let anyone forget that.

  • Hanneke

    I never was a fan of concerts before I visited one of her’s. Now I’m a devoted fan whenever she visits my little country. Love, love, love her shows. xo Hanneke

    http://www.hannekeverstegen.com

  • Wandering In Heels

    I so need to make this my next concert spurge!

    WanderingInHeels.com

  • Jennie

    “…a headlining reminder for the rest of her strong, independent, female-but-taken fans that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being in love, in partnership and vocal about it.” Which is why I love Bey and why she is such an influence to young women. Fall in love, not lust and look damn good while doing it.

    • Hudson Berry

      “Fall in love, not lust and look damn good while doing it”
      Helll yeah

  • Restless Blonde

    I love Beyonce, this is now the greates female voice of all! And I’ve been at her concert this year in Warsaw- it was truly a-ma-zing! I was sooo grateful I could be there!

    http://restlessblonde.blogspot.com/

  • Donna

    Love this piece!! I would say I’m a Beyonce based on your theory. But I will admit – attending Bey’s concert was one of the most amazing experiences. Not only is she talented but humble, I mean who else can sing and dance for 2 hours?! Loved it, every minute.

    xoDonna
    http://www.soyouagree.com

  • B.

    The Beyonce Experience, I AM (Sasha Fierce), Mrs. Carter..

    The titles of her shows grow with her. She gets better with time. Last night was my second Beyonce show and the first was the best concert of my life until last night. She is undoubtedly “shattering ceilings” and showing us that you can, indeed, have it all. I admire her and aspire to be at least somewhat like her. She’s classy, beautiful, bossy, beyond talented, humble, sophisticatedly (?) ratchet (she DID tell us weren’t stanky enough for her, lol), and all the while seems to be a wonderful life and mother. Beyonce really is everything. no.. like, EVERYTHING.

    xB

    brittiish.blogspot.com

  • http://www.anorexicescapades.com/ BougieHippie

    This is cleverly written but maybe the kool aid wasn’t strong enough for me. That has been the same show since 2006 just new “costumes” and lighting effects.

    I actually feel asleep at the show. Sorry I’m not sorry.

    http://www.anorexicescapades.com

  • http://www.fashionsnag.com/ Fashion Snag

    Would love to see her in concert!

    http://www.FashionSnag.com

  • Caroline

    I saw Beyone at the Izod center in NJ a few days ago…seriously INCREDIBLE. She can do no wrong!

  • Britani Marie

    love this post…you are an amazing writer!! <3

  • Brittany

    I recently had a similar argument with a friend about Beyonce’s choice in naming her tour. At first, we were also speculating her girl-power ways and wondered why she would use her new husband’s name in the title but, I thought it was equally awesome and we agreed (having clearly known Beyonce personally, hah) it was a scream-at-the-top-of-your-lungs kind of love she has for her dude and portrays it as so. GO B!

    On a semi-irrelevant note, I read the awesome article for WWD about your book and was thrilled for your achievements and synopsis of it, and surprisingly, couldn’t wait to purchase it.
    Then. I read the last few lines of the article and have felt a weird sense of funk and disappointment since then. If you don’t recall the lines, it was about tattoos and your opinion toward them. I read TMR fairly often and think everyone involved is spectacular in the fields of writing, hilarity, style and ethic but that really threw me off. Understandably, it’s how you feel and don’t get me wrong lots of silly people have silly tattoos that just make you want to cringe but, to lump the entirety of tattooed people as “crying for help” I mean hey! That kinda hurt. Obviously, I have a couple tattoos and am very comfortable with the person I am and I feel like a chill, classy, stylish lady. So, hearing from someone that I look up to and admire talk down to a large amount of people with myself included, as to making a mistake for attention is a bit harsh and generalized.

  • Lilli

    I’m attending in sydney in a month or two! Several changes of underpants will be needed to the lead up!

  • Darcey ward

    I’m going in October when she comes down under! Ahhhhhh (shreik of excitment)

    xx

    yecrad.blogspot.com
    Darcey.

  • http://jessjoycej.wordpress.com/ Jessica Joyce

    I am admittedly one of Bey’s devout worshipers, but agree with you on the tour name debacle. Perhaps her relationship with the “Mrs. Carter” & “I’m a survivor” is the same relationship I have with me being completely devoid from celebrities and me LOVING Beyonce.
    Still, I am jealous of you being able to witness this spectacle that is the Mrs. Carter Show.

  • EmilyS

    I was at her show on Sunday night as well, and you are so on point. Equally on point was her purple glitter jumpsuit as she flew over the crowd like it was no big deal.

  • Hannah

    Really love this post!! Wish I got to see her in concert.

    http://sparklesmileandshine.blogspot.com

  • Ari

    I have a different point of view on this topic of being named after your husbands surname when you get married because where I come from, in Spain, this just never happens. By law, you have your father and your mother’s surname, one after the other, and when you get married this never changes, you just can’t adopt your husband’s surname, and our kids are named after both of us, and now we can even put our surname first (the mother’s). So I see Beyonce’s decision as pretty anti “I’m a survivor”, naming her tour Mrs. Carter. If another person called me after my husband’s surname in Spain, it would clearly be a sign of possessiveness to me: we are just proud of our family name and would never change it. I agree that Beyonce has a fantastic life and I am not against marriage, living happily ever after nor anything else that concerns being in love and having babies, but I think Mrs. Carter made us all be confused with this decision… I love my man but I don’t need his surname. Anyway, fuck I love Beyonce

  • Phoebe Yates

    I went to a show in London and literally cried twice, i love her for being devoted to her husband but also that she embraces single girls and acknowledges that time in her life. She can do no wrong in my eyes!

  • http://www.farandwildjewelry.com/ abigail lind

    i think it’s pretty safe to say that you are indeed the beyonce of the blogging world. the deal will be sealed when you name your first born green bougainvillea cohen.

    abigail
    http://www.farandwildjewelry.com

  • Alissa from ChicPeek

    I wish I could go to a Beyonce concert but that sounds like a wonderful experience! You are so lucky to be a part of it!

  • Charlotte

    Beyonce has been very careful throughout her career not to share her private life with the public though she has made a pointed effort to express how influential her family was throughout the creative process of her album “4” (which came out 2 years ago and she is only now taking on tour). With her mini-documentary “Year of 4″ and her HBO documentary, which primarily focus on her time off post-Sasha Fierce up until now (Blue Ivy), it is clear that Beyonce is comfortable sharing that aspect of her personal life and celebrating it, which she does on the Mrs. Carter tour. Also- at last night’s show, Mr. Carter himself came out and their interactions were to die for….She is a superhero.

  • Stylist

    She doesn’t rake in the big bucks for nothing. She’s the best at what she does! Good to hear you were able to attend the concert. Tickets are way to pricey for my taste but I love looking at the photos.

    http://www.seekingastylist.com

  • Poe

    Beyonce has it all: the career, the bod, the man, the family! MRS. Carter is who she is, and she should be proud to achieve all those things, when most of us are lucky to manage to juggle two or three of those well!
    Love your website by the way! Pre-ordered your book and I cannot wait to read it!

  • LM Kissk

    I completely agree with you that being a woman, an entrepreneur, independant does not equal to not love and be only in w yourself but to love somebody as strong as B demonstrated it showed that she is independant more than even and not afraid to loose herself loving somebody else because she is consistent and feel happy w herself.
    http://laetitiamouly.blogspot.ch/

  • The Bargain District

    I was there on the same night! She wore the purple catsuit which could be translated as pants hehe

  • Karmin

    BEYONCE is hands down the best artist out there. I saw her concert & she is like MJ STATUS. it was the best concert I have ever attended & I have been to ALOT of concerts. she is a legend in every kind of way. Her voice, looks, body, attitude, success. Her and Jay Z are the biggest names in music, they are hollywood. Beyonce is perfection taken form in a human. BOW DOWN BITCHES

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