Over the weekend, Beyoncé performed at the Global Citizen Festival in South Africa. Queen Bey, who managed to execute complex choreography, look outstanding, change outfits at least twice, remain on key and remember her lyrics and camera angles, was flanked by a bevy of lackluster male talent, all of whom noticeably struggled through their assigned tasks. Pharrell seemed to have forgotten the lyrics to his own verse. Jay-Z appeared to be out of wind at one point (and cheated on Beyonce.) Ed Sheeran (who also maybe sang off-key at one point) opted to wear a shirt on top of another shirt and his best Gap denim.
On social media, photos of Bey (flawless, swathed in tulle, full glam) next to Sheeran (no tulle, no glam) have been used to illustrate gendered work/performance expectations. Most women are Beyonce, most men are Sheeran. Sheeran made fun of the melee on his instagram, reposting an article on his Instagram story titled, “People Are Angry Ed Sheeran Wore a Shirt while Beyoncé Wore Couture During their Global Citizen Performance.” Disregarding my feelings, he continued to poke fun at his own lackluster sartorial choices, using the hashtag #dresstoimpress. Sheeran has performed with Beyonce at least twice, I understand looking like a sock is a part of his schtick, but the lack of regard for Bey, the refusal to exert even a modicum of effort is honestly upsetting. I love “Perfect,” and I don’t want to question Beyonce’s wisdom, but I hope she dresses him better for their next performance. This is disrespectful to Beyonce, Ed!
Michelle Williams claims that her white fiancé is not racist, he was just edited to seem like one. A scene from the couple’s reality show Chad Loves Michelle features the titular chad being offended and making a dig at Michelle’s mental health after she suggests that he may not understand her mode of communication because he is white. Michelle maintains that Chad is not racist, and this is all due to some messy editing. Still, I hope she leaves him.