When Did Beyoncé Stop Caring So Much About Her Image and Actually Become Vulnerable?

That’s not opinion; that’s a secret fact gone public released by the one and only Queen Bey herself. Upon the release of Lemonade, the world—and the Beyhive—learned that Beyoncé’s life has been anything but perfect. On the outside, she and husband Jay Z kept up appearances of having a wonderful marriage and life. On the inside, however, it turns out she was maybe grappling with issues such as infidelity.

Fans, haters and more have speculated who “Becky with the good hair” could be. Critics chose to focus on the perhaps autobiographical lyrics, which officially made Jay Z look like the villain and raised, once again, speculation about the motivations of that infamous Met Gala elevator brawl.

Beyoncé has perfectly curated her image since launching her solo career. Her publicist once asked Buzzfeed to remove any and all unflattering images from her 2013 Super Bowl halftime show. At one point the New York Times referred to her as “seen but not heard” as a result of her September 2015 Vogue cover, in which she posed for a full spread but didn’t give an interview. In fact, that became a reputation of sorts for the beloved star—you’ll see her, but you’ll never hear from her.

Beyoncé began to release interviews that were, of course, staged by her. She released her HBO special, Life is But a Dream, which gave fans a closer look at the seemingly mysterious star. Unfortunately, it backfired. “…this is less a documentary portrait than a micromanaged video diary exploring the R&B superstar’s relationship with her laptop,” The Hollywood Reporter wrote in its review.

In an effort to perfectly curate her image, people began to realize that maybe her life wasn’t such a dream; everyone realized that Beyoncé was just a persona and she was feeding the people what she wanted.

Was that the moment it changed?

Perhaps the fierce criticism shook something within the star, but when she released her album, Beyoncé, in 2013, a new Beyoncé was born. Although everyone has become obsessed with the message behind Lemonade, let’s not forget her song “Jealous.”

“I’m in my penthouse half naked / I cooked this meal for you naked / So where the hell you at?” she sings. “Just one shot left of this drink, in this glass / Don’t make me break it / I wish that you were me / So you could feel this feeling / I never broke one promise / And I know when you’re not honest / Now you got me yelling. That’s because I’m jealous.”

The rest of the song further implies infidelity, and the music video even features her husband at the very end. Perhaps it was here when she first made herself appear vulnerable; then again, shereleased the song and the video, once again curating everyone’s impression of the message she was trying to send. But this time she was letting them in on a little secret.

In addition to the telling lyrics, Beyoncé also showed her fans she could kick up the language several notches. Gone was the innocent singer from Destiny’s Child and hello was the woman who cursed and got angry. Somehow she seamlessly transitioned from the fun Beyoncé in the “Single Ladies” music video to someone who stormed down city streets and protested in videos such as “Formation.”

Given the tone, message and video of “Formation,” the first single off Lemonade, maybe fans should’ve expected a more dramatic and intense Bey. Police requested that people boycott the star, which is a concept she has regained control of in the form of concert merchandise with that exact request written on it. Little did listeners know that “Formation” would just be a drop in the bucket.

Beyoncé launched her Formation World Tour Wednesday in Miami, and given all the hullaballoo surrounding her visual album’s release, everyone waited with bated breath to what would happen. Would she perform the “Becky” lyric? What would Jay Z do during this whole ordeal? Everyone got an answer at Marlins Park.

Beyoncé sang the “Becky” part from “Sorry,” but she went right into “Bow Down” immediately after just as the crowd started to go wild. She finished her set list with “Halo” but not before dedicating her hit song to her hubby.

“I wanna dedicate this to my beautiful husband…I love you so much,” she said.

Beyoncé silenced anyone who thought their marriage was in trouble with that single line, but after all the headlines since Lemonade’s release, was it genuine, or was she changing the narrative? Whatever her motivations may be, one thing is absolutely clear: Beyoncé is slowly but surely letting people into her secret world, but the way she sees fit.


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