Beyoncé’s 7/11 Actually Succeeds in “Breaking the Internet,” It’s Just: Why?
11.24.14
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Kim Kardashian attempted to win the Internet earlier this month when she allowed Paper Magazine to publish nude photos of her for their December “Break the Internet” issue. For at least three days — a century in Internet speak — her name was on the tip of every digital tongue across the web. But the conversation shifted swiftly and definitively on Friday, when for the second time in one year, Beyoncé practiced unorthodox proceedings and utilized social media’s democracy to drop a single and accompanying music video without providing context.

Since Friday, Beyoncé’s “7/11” has garnered upward of 20,000,000 views on YouTube, which is impressive but not unpredictable when considering the star’s clout. What is unique, however, is the actual video, which is effectively a three and a half minute selfie that appends a 15-word song, which will at best become a club hit and at worst, give your mother a headache.

She’s on a terrace, wearing knee pads, acting jovially in a sweatshirt that reads Kale across the front. She’s spinning in a chair and then she’s in a bathroom. She wears full-coverage granny panties with the same demure austerity that she does Givenchy couture (worn under a sweatshirt) and though she’s conceivably goofing off, sometimes with her friends-cum-back-up dancers, other times with a Christmas tree as her leading back-up dancer, the assumption is that whatever we’re seeing has been conceptualized deliberately and marketed for public consumption.

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Here’s the thing, though: this semi-crude selfie video, when held up against the highly produced and incredibly styled videos that are typically indicative of a Beyonce production, could theoretically make a much larger statement about the way in which we consume digital entertainment.

Maybe in 2014, it’s no longer really about achieving the most beautiful, or rehearsed “shot” so much as it is making sure that your point is conveyed unflinchingly and clearly.

The video in question, which commanded parallel engagement and enthusiasm vis-a-vis it’s fancier siblings, seems like an old-school nod to creative substance (solid dance moves, a human necessity to connect with, or experience celebration) that is being propelled by the proliferation of technology in a way that is nostalgic but fundamentally only available to be tested as a result of progression. This video stands as an interesting case study on the topic of over-saturation and what that concentration leads to.

If it does, in fact, drive the generation of minimalism, does that mean we’re entering the age of modernist digital content?

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  • Mariam

    wow

  • wow on the video is right! interesting.

    http://www.FashionSnag.com

  • Check out ‘Super Selfie’ by YouTuber Gab Valenciano. His dance videos inspired this one; word is her team collaborated with him on ‘7/11.’

  • Chantel

    I love the song and video!

  • To me, the video is simple in that it’s what the song is about. Just enjoying the night with your girls. That’s it. It’s not a prolific song that we will be quoting one day; it’s all in fun — basically a girls night song. :] // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

  • I kind of love the video. And I’m secretly upset I’m not in it. And also, I want that ugly Christmas Beyoncé sweatshirt!!

    • Leandra Medine

      I think that’s kind of the point, right? We FEEEEEL like we could be part of her inner circle but also understand that we are so not.

      • Definitely. I think that’s why I like it, because it’s relatable (and it’s Beyoncé, but you know).

      • Chelsea Murphy

        EXACTLY. It’s the same-ish video we all made with our girlfriends at every sleepover in 5th grade. Only it’s not a Spice Girls song, the dancing is WAY tighter and the location is better than our friend’s mom’s re-finished basement. So we’re not quite in with Bey. But she wants us to think that maybe we could be.

        • LEE @ Modern Granola

          Brilliant.

    • Kandeel

      I WANT THE SWEATER TOO OMG and I want to be in beyonce’s hotel dancing clique so bad

  • heather

    I want to be Bey when I grow up. I’m not sure if it’s just the digital age but it’s how we want to perceive certain celebrities like Bey. I like to think that Bey dances around her house in her undies (like the rest of us…but her moves are more killer), having fun with her girls in a hotel, and just being an all around fun person. I think in its own right this video is artistic and clever. I don’t think it’s exactly minimal. Cost of production yes. But the cut, dances, and everything in between wasn’t what I consider minimal. Obv. a lot of thought and editing went into it.

    <3
    heather
    fashionistanygirl.com

  • I am obsessed with this. My friends and I have already re-enacted this video multiple times running around in our undies.

    http://tostylewithlove.com/

    Daphne

  • Zola

    this video is the epitome of the French phrase ‘jolie laide’ – raw, unusual and has so much character

  • Kaitlyn Vitug

    I didn’t really know how to feel about this video… Haha but it was interesting and did catch my attention.

    xoxox
    thefashionnarrative
    http://www.thefashionnarrative.com

  • I knew this would be on Man Repeller the second I saw the “KALE” sweatshirt in the video. Great post / food for thought!

  • Emily

    I liked it, to an extent. I’m so used to everything she puts out being this highly thought out and stylized piece so I was surprised http://meowemily.blogspot.com

    • I really like your thought. It made me think differently about the whole thing.

  • Chyli

    This isn’t desperate like the other “breaking the internet” attempt. This is actually representative of innovation and pure talent.

  • I am a little bit afraid to say this, because everyone here seems to like the video but…
    Am I the only one, who doesn’t like the video and the song? I firstly saw the video on mute. Then I saw it again with tone. But it is not touching me. Not at all. Please don’t get me wrong now.

    At the beginning I thought: Does B need to “reown” the internet after Kim Kardashian “broke” it? Then I thought: come on. It’s Beyonce. Every step she takes must be calculated to the smallest detail. Isn’t it? I somehow can’t believe that her songs were really leaked. It’s all about marketing and PR.

    In the video B shows us how natural she can be. Not everything needs to be planned or styled into the smallest detail. She’s human. She likes to party and to fool around. She makes fun of herself. She can be like everyone else? She is not an unattainable person?

  • Love the song;)

    Anyone traveling soon? Here are my essentials xoxo http://blizzard-girl.blogspot.com/2014/11/my-trave-weekend-essentials.html

  • Guest

    I really think that part of the video “success” is because it looks intimate. It portrays her like a normal human being, and not so much like a super goddess, untouchable and stuff. And also, I feel like the concept of “spying” on her life, and where she lives, etc; just a little sneak peek, that turns it addictive. It’s like a one-time-show reality.
    And it sells because she makes her life so private, that this is converted into a precious gem. Sorta.

  • María Belén

    I really think that part of the video’s “success” is because it looks intimate. It portrays her like a normal human being, and not so much like a super goddess, untouchable and stuff. And also, I feel like the concept of “spying” on her life, and where she lives, etc; just a little sneak peek, that turns it addictive. It’s like a one-time-show reality.

    And it sells because she makes her life so private, that this is converted into a precious gem. Sorta.

  • Chrissie

    she knows how to promote herself! check out our website filled with fashion, beauty and lifestyle news http://www.style-ethics.com

    xoxo
    http://www.style-ethics.com

  • Johanna M

    That’s the big question, isn’t it- what is modern?

  • Iimani

    This captures the essence of Beyonce. Other artist or public figures, such as Kim K, do things and seek to over explain them and justify them, when in reality no real justification exist, the act was purposeless. Nothing needs to be said. Beyonce, does things effortlessly, not purposlessly, and has not need to explain. While she is taking control of her music and what she gives her fans, she always remembers that she is presenting it to her fans, people that love her people that want to see her do well and be happy. She does things to change the game, not just to have people talking about her. She ups the ante every time. She has changed her image, enhanced her sound, change how music is released, changed how cds are presented to the audience…she is changed everything. She has an effect on people and she is aware of it, she is accountable, and alot of these other artist and public figures are not accountability of their effect on fans.

  • I really want this 7/11 music video (that was definitely shot on her laptop propped up by Blue Ivy) to be the new Call Me Maybe…as in, everyone gets to do their own version of the music video. Let’s have a sleepover and just get ready in the bathroom but not go out. Instead, make this music video.

  • “Mad ’cause I’m so fresh, fresher than you, I’m fresher than you…”
    That’s some Beyonce genius right there.

    http://www.thestylopedia.com

  • Jron

    The beginning is her dancing like some sort of demon type ritual dance, then shes next to the christmas tree with the glasses with the horns on them, then when shes spinning around recording themself in the room you see some black dude running with his knees up in the backround running around like a joker. & the song has meaningless lyrics like its just the video she wanted people to see and shes doing some weird gibberish talking/singing at the end which is wicked creepy

  • Lola

    Love that Beyonce’s room is messy.

  • Illiterati

    Hilarious to hear all this stream of highbrow concepts and academic words applied to what clearly was her deciding to have some fun over a weekend in a hotel room with some dancer friends because people would watch her brush her teeth if it came to that. A “case study”…hahahahaha…Yeah, a famous person putting dice in their mouth and other messing around kid stuff + editing = a deeeeeeeeep, self-aware concept.