We here at Jezebel are capable of a little self reflection. We know that we can be over the top with our love of Beyoncé sometimes. How could we not be when she's the greatest fucking performer to have ever opened her mouth and made noise come out of it? Look, see? We're doing it again. Like I said, it happens and we recognize that, but we also recognize that all of our fawning, all of are gushing, is nothing — NUH. THING. — compared to the GQ February cover story declaring her Miss Millennium.
You know how we call her Queen Bey sometimes? (It's cute, right? Tell us how cute we are!) Well, GQ might think that she's an actual queen. "Beyoncé is ready to receive you now," begins the article. "...She does not get up — a video camera has already been aimed at her face and turned on —so you greet her as you sit down. You have an agreed-upon window of time. Maybe a little more, if she finds you amusing." (Is it possible to have Beyoncé performance anxiety before you ever get the opportunity to meet Beyoncé? Because I have it right now.)
While GQ's reaction to her is a little ridiculous, it's not totally outlandish once they describe the world that Beyoncé has created for herself. Not only is she dressed to perfection at all moments of the day, but she also has an on-staff photographer and videographer documenting her from practically the moment she gets up until the moment she goes to bed at night (except for in the bathroom, but that's only because Beyoncé doesn't need a bathroom — you know Beyoncé doesn't poop) and a temperature controlled vault full of every Beyoncé artifact (including the lost members of Destiny's Child) that you could imagine to have ever existed. Sure, it's extreme, but only to a simple mortal.
But these are mere details, accessories for the article's big reveal, which you can draw from the subtext: Beyoncé isn't human. Beyoncé is a robot. Not only is she a robot, but she's a highly advanced robot that's constantly developing and improving until it's able to take over the world with a shake of a hip and an adorable top knot. Even she admits it:
"I try to perfect myself. I want to grow, and I'm always eager for new information."
Translation: Beep beep bloop beep, I will own you all.
Okay, maybe she's not a robot (she is), but she's definitely a machine:
"I worked so hard during my childhood to meet this goal: By the time I was 30 years old, I could do what I want," she says. "I've reached that. I feel very fortunate to be in that position. But I've sacrificed a lot of things, and I've worked harder than probably anyone I know, at least in the music industry. So I just have to remind myself that I deserve it."
Work hard, she does. Every night that she's on tour, Beyoncé will stay up late and analyze footage of the day's performance. The next day, everyone — the director, the dancers, the makeup artists, etc. — will receive pages of notes, but no one gets a harsher critique than Beyoncé herself. She says, "I watch my performances, and I wish I could just enjoy them, but I see the light that was late. I see, 'Oh God, that hair did not work.' Or 'I should never do that again.'"
I guess that's the strain and pressure that comes of controlling every single element of your brand.
Strangely, however, when she performs, all of that seems to go away:
"I love my job, but it's more than that: I need it," she says. "Because before I gave birth, it was the only time in my life, all throughout my life, that I was lost...It's like a blackout. When I'm onstage, I don't know what the crap happens. I am gone."
Yes, Beyoncé. That's what other computers call "going to sleep."
The article, as demonstrated from the get-go, makes Beyoncé out to be some sort of untouchable, describing her as "part girl next door, part mistress of the universe" and saying that she "exudes a hip-thrusting sensuality that can be a little...intimidating. She's hot, no doubt, but her eminence, her independence, and her ambition make some label her cool to the touch."
Yes, a woman who is on camera literally all of the fucking time would be a little icy, intimidating and egocentric, I suppose, but I don't think it's a reason for us Beyoncé fans to hop off the bandwagon. As she mentioned, Bey works hard and has been working hard for a very long time. Not only that, but, in spite of her Terry Richardson-shot spread (a-doy-yoy-yoy), she expresses some pretty feminist sentiments:
"You know, equality is a myth, and for some reason, everyone accepts the fact that women don't make as much money as men do. I don't understand that. Why do we have to take a backseat? I truly believe that women should be financially independent from their men. And let's face it, money gives men the power to run the show. It gives men the power to define value. They define what's sexy. And men define what's feminine. It's ridiculous."
(It's worth noting that Bey severed business ties with her father and took full control of her brand in 2011.) Adds GQ, "There ain't no use being hot as fish grease, she seems to understand, if someone else wields the spatula and holds the keys to the cash register." Okay then. Sure.
GQ's feature certainly leaves a strong impression of the famously private Beyoncé that, while not entirely positive, certainly exudes power. We can respect her, we can fear her, but we probably can't expect to ever be her friend. Oh, well. At least we still have Solange.