Rumors of the iminent breakup between superstars Jay Z and Beyonce are reaching a critical mass. Like any massively famous couple, they've been plagued with rumors of infidelity and unhappiness throughout much of their relationship. But recently, the stories that they will divorce as soon as their On The Run tour ends have been picking up steam, thanks largely to the now-infamous elevator fight and renewed cheating rumors spurred by a song Beyonce has been singing since 2006 that apparently people have just started paying attention to.
We have told you MANY times before that this high-profile marriage is just a business arrangement. We have also told you that this business arrangement will wind down after their current project is finished. Well, it's almost over!
They are splitting up everything (properties, money, child/ren) right now, but will be keeping up appearances until the announcement. They are separating this year, with the divorce to follow in about six months. It will be very clean and very fast. In fact, the parties involved are describing the timeline as "Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes fast."
The gossip has also hit the ink with cover stories from Life & Style and InTouch.
The only mainstream publication seriously reporting on the split is Page Six but ya know, it's Page Six. I imagine that other large outlets are probably not interested in pissing off two of the biggest celebrities on Earth—but sites like Extra are offhandedly mentioning the rumors.
Now, before moving forward and in the interest of transparency and something you can figure out with a basic Google search, let me say that I am a Beyonce fan. Not only that, but I believe that Beyonce is important. Beyonce is important for reasons that have little to do with the quality of her vocals or the flair of her costumes. Beyonce is a pop culture force whether you like it or not. And Beyonce is very, very important to many black girls both in this country and around the world.
The singular pop star in the world right now is a black woman. The most influential person in the world is a black woman. The most powerful celebrity in entertainment is a black woman. If you are not a black woman, that importance can easily be lost on you. Without experiencing it, it's hard to explain the impact of seeing a woman who looks like you reach the level Beyonce has reached while basking in her identify as a black woman—it is affirming. So, as someone who likes Beyonce very much, I of course don't want the rumors to be true. But let's just assume that they are.
First and foremost, it would be unfortunate if Jay Z and Beyonce split up because divorce sucks and is rarely a happy occasion. Just on a basic human level, I don't enjoy watching relationships crumble.
Some stories, like the Blind Gossip item, suggest that their entire marriage and relationship is a sham—that it's a business arrangement they're leveraging for profit. I don't happen to believe that the entire relationship is a sham because Jay Z and Beyonce have been together since well before it was mutually beneficial for them to be a couple. That being said, if their marriage is under strain, the timeframe for their issues is relevant.
Beyonce's 2013 smash, self-titled album is, among many things, an ode to love. She has said, in her own words, that: "the glue that holds this album together is honesty."
If the two of them were having serious issues around the time that she was recording Beyonce (which was basically all of 2013) and if she was still writing songs like "Drunk In Love," that would be…odd. One could argue that the songs were an attempt to save her marriage, but still, putting out a very specific and crafted image of
marital bliss when it didn't exist is deceptive—even more so when you're claiming to be coming from a place of honesty.
Then we have the On The Run tour with it's onslaught of adorable video clips of Beyonce, Jay Z and Blue Ivy living a happy, loving and very wealthy life. With the divorce rumors now reaching a frenzy and with them still going on stage every night like this:
It seems that the whole tour could just be one big elaborate performance. And yes, that is what a concert is, an elaborate performance, but there's a difference between putting on a good front and actively pushing an image of happiness and love. Any truth to the rumors make the whole tour supremely disappointing because, why? Why lie? It's profitable, sure, but the Carters are neither hurting for money nor unable to go on successful tours individually. Designing an entire tour around the concept of them as a a ride or die couple both on stage and in real life when they know that's untrue is manipulative.
If they do end up divorcing, I feel that many will not be kind to the Carters, not only because of the possibility that they were feeding us a deliberately false narrative this whole time, but because their life together has always seemed perfect and aspirational. Jay Z and Beyonce are rich, famous, talented, impossibly cool AND they adore each other? No one's life is that great, they'll say.
This will invariable become an attack on the "perfection" of Beyonce. Professionally, Beyonce has always striven for perfection—as she damn well should. That's what people who achieve great things do—they work to be as close to perfect as humanly possible. Musician, actors, writers and athletes are under no obligation to show you their true selves. They have an obligation to entertain you to the best of their ability. But Beyonce's "perfection" started down a slippery slope when she started painting her personal life with that same brush even as she actively embraced the imperfection that is the human experience.
I hope the rumors are not true because not only will love officially be dead, but Twitter will likely implode on itself from the news. And I can already smell the barrage of think pieces from pop culture critics trying to dissect a marriage they were never a part of.
Either way, it seems we'll have to wait, at least until the end of the On The Run tour before getting any answers. Meanwhile, Beyonce seems to be doing what she does so well—continuing to push the image of a happy, united family.
Images via Getty and Rob Hoffman