Does Beyoncé Really Need Sasha Fierce?

Illustration for article titled Does Beyoncé Really Need Sasha Fierce?

"It's hard to imagine Beyoncé scratching an itch without undergoing a little media training first," writes Slate's Jonah Weiner. "In the nothing-is-private era of TMZ, she still believes there's such a thing as TMI." But when B wants to be more outspoken, flamboyant and unleashed, she blames that behavior on her alter ego, Sasha Fierce. Obviously she's not the only one:Lots of musicians have alter egos. Hank Williams had Luke the Drifter, Mariah Carey has Mimi, Marshall Mathers has Eminem and Slim Shady, David Bowie had Ziggy Stardust. But, writes Weiner:

Beyoncé's poppelgänger move on I Am…Sasha Fierce is, in the end, a huckster's feint: The so-called unguarded tracks offer us no deeper understanding of Beyoncé, unless you count the revelation, on the shivering power ballad "If I Were a Boy," that this booty-shaking, beauty-shop feminist has feelings, too, and that they that can be hurt. Beyoncé's personality split, at least as it's explored here, comes off like a talking point. […] So there's a scary subtext to Beyoncé's patently unrevealing "revealing" new album—is it that she won't take off her mask or that, after so many years in the spotlight, she can't?

Or even worse: Is it that there's nothing to see? Doppelgänger Pop [Slate] Earlier: Is The Meaning Behind Beyonce's Music Misunderstood?

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Apparently Sasha Fierce is her drag queen alter ego....let's pray she's more interesting.