Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

“The problem with Beyoncé’s impossibly perfect baby announcement”

bey.jpg

Following weeks of speculation surrounding the birth of her twins, Beyoncé has finally taken to Instagram to officially announce their arrival and reveal their names. But does the impossibly beautiful photo merely celebrate her joy at their arrival – or does it serve to shame new mums who feel they can’t match up to her perfection? Here, freelance writer and mum-of-two Lucy Paget has her say.


Oh Bey. We expected nothing less, but we deserved so much more. 

In the last few years you have proudly described yourself as a feminist, declared the message behind your 2013 self-titled album was “finding the beauty in imperfection” and then in 2016’s Lemonade you released beautiful songs about the difficulties you had endured in your marriage. But there is no such honesty or celebration of imperfection in this picture.

Supposedly released to celebrate the arrival of your twins, the eye is immediately drawn to your completely flat stomach, unblemished and seemingly unaffected by the physiological effects of carrying two babies for nine months. You may well have a completely flat stomach already, having been in exceptional physical health before falling pregnant, and you probably followed a tailored exercise program during your pregnancy which will help your body recover.

But this is not an argument about how quickly you got your “old” figure back.  Neither is it a rant aimed at women who put no weight on at all during pregnancy and leave hospital in their pre-pregnancy clothes.

Sir Carter and Rumi 1 month today. 🙏🏽❤️👨🏽👩🏽👧🏽👶🏾👶🏾

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

No one is under any illusion that you have a different life to almost all of us, with an army of people behind the scenes who help run the Beyoncé show and more time than most to dedicate to your physical health.  We also know you have an image to project, and that this image has been carefully crafted over 20 years in the business. It is inextricably linked to everything you do – you are an awesomely talented, triple-threat powerhouse.  So why does it matter?

It matters because you know how unhelpful and damaging this picture is. You know because you have written songs about the subjugation of women and how striving for perfection has hindered your generation and will be even more dangerous for the next, bombarded as they are by Photoshopped images, body-shaming and insta-perfect celebrities. 


Read more: Beyoncé shares first photo of newborn twins


It matters because pregnancy changes your body, but this pictures pretends that it doesn’t.  Growing and birthing a child is a beautiful thing, but many women don’t feel beautiful while pregnant, and they feel even less so a month into life with a newborn.  Some women recover physically very quickly after birth, but for almost all women giving birth leads to a long process of learning to feel comfortable with a new body.  

It matters because this image is not of a woman celebrating the birth of two new lives. It is a celebration of beauty and physical perfection – the very things you say a woman should not be defined by.

You are an icon of our time and your influence is immense, not only on your legions of fans, but also on the media.  When you comment people listen, and this seems like such a wasted opportunity to continue your message of female empowerment. 

By releasing an image so clearly set up to display the apparent lack of effect that this latest pregnancy has had on your body, you have once again put the spotlight firmly on the image of a perfect appearance above all else, and in doing so, you have damaged us all.

In your own words: “Perfection is a disease of a nation”.

Images: Instagram

Related

beyonce twin babies reveal.PNG

Beyoncé shares first photo of newborn twins (and confirms names)

beyonce jay z affair becky.jpg

Jay-Z says marriage to Beyoncé wasn't “built on the 100% truth”

beyonce jay z rumi sir carter baby twins.jpg

The story behind Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s trademarked twin baby names

Comments

More

Pirelli’s all-black 2018 calendar makes a statement about inclusivity

The tyre manufacturer aims to continue shaking off its reputation with a beautiful fairy-tale shoot

by Amy Swales
21 Jul 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Nicole Scherzinger's glam squad to Reese Witherspoon's hair hack

by Nicola Colyer
21 Jul 2017

Lana Del Rey is changing her aesthetic because of Donald Trump

"I’m not going to have the American flag waving while I’m singing Born to Die."

by Moya Crockett
20 Jul 2017

BBC ever so politely shuts down backlash over first female Doctor Who

Some “unhappy” viewers contacted the broadcaster about Jodie Whittaker’s casting

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Jul 2017

“I have my demons”: Neelam Gill on racism, modelling and mental health

Stylist’s cover star is outspoken, honest and on the up

by Anita Bhagwandas
19 Jul 2017

Actresses who have braved playing iconic women from history

As Felicity Jones signs up to play Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we take a look at other movie stars who have played real-life legends

by Moya Crockett
19 Jul 2017

Madonna launches legal battle to get her Tupac breakup letter back

The emotional letter was set to go up for auction – but Madonna says it was taken without her consent

by Moya Crockett
19 Jul 2017

Kate Middleton’s honest response to being called “perfect”

The Duchess of Cambridge isn’t here for the myth of perfection

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Jul 2017

Christine Bleakley is over people asking when she’s going to have kids

“Everyone seems to be fascinated by my body clock…”

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Jul 2017

Woman cancels her wedding and invites homeless people to the party

“It’s a great opportunity to spread love.”

by Moya Crockett
17 Jul 2017