By Elizabeth C.
Bey’s soda-cap-deep hagiography Life Is But A Dream has finally aired, and the critics have spoken, and spoken and spoken. And the consensus is: Beyoncé is drowning in self-reverential bunk.
Even worse, even as she addressed head-on the rumors that she used a surrogate to carry her daughter Blue Ivy, the film does nothing to definitively prove that she didn’t. I hinted that I found her language about delivery mawkishly suspicious in Vogue, and Gawker carries the water farther for me.
In the HBO special, there’s a shot of Bey’s supposed pregnant belly that could pass for bloating. There’s also a dark silhouette purporting to be her pregnant profile. But even though she keeps a video archive of her life recording up to 16 hours a day, there’s little other photographic evidence that Bey carried Blue Ivy in her own womb.
Whatever, we’ll for the minute politely let that slide. But then Mrs. Carter tells Oprah that she gained an unbelievable 57 pounds while she was pregnant. Some women do gain that much weight all the time though the average gain is about 30 pounds. But not women who turn out looking fierce exactly 30 days later with no obvious pudge in the face or around the hips, no swollen breasts spilling out of her dress.
Look, it’s Bey and Jay-Z’s business if they hired a surrogate. And they have a right to keep that secret. But what’s important is that her slavish fans understand it’s not inconceivable that someone as coolly in control of image as Bey would go so far to stay in control. Of her movie, Salon writes, “Her control-freakery is not an act, not masking some broken, deranged, lost or wild alt-Beyoncé, but her defining characteristic.”
Beyoncé is calculatingly in control. And it behooves her fans not to keep their eyes wide shut.