Last week, while scrolling Twitter trying to avoid headlines about Adele’s sudden weight loss, I saw an Adele-related story that had nothing to do with her figure (bless). It was a tweet about how Beyoncé, Queen of the Planet, had given her a birthday shout-out. Where, I wondered, did this shout-out live? On her Instagram, her Twitter? No. It was on her personal website. And when I went to go check it out, I noticed a bunch of other birthday posts for other celebrities, like Mariah Carey. But…where are these birthday shout-outs coming from? And what is the goal? If you’re the most powerful woman in the world, what makes you decide to shine a light on some random person’s birthday on your personal website? Let’s investigate.
Beyoncé puts these messages on the home page of her site, and they live between photos from, like, the Super Bowl and info about a new charitable initiative (because obviously, this woman can do it all). But for lack of a better word, they are random. Here are some examples.
They all feature photos from the person’s childhood, and while most are musical artists, some are athletes (Chris Paul). And some of them include the actual date of the birthday, while others do not. It’d be easy to explain these as people Beyoncé has collaborated with in the past or whatever, but…Chris Paul? Chris Paul plays basketball! Yes, I know they are family friends, but still! The last time I checked, a full court press was not one of Beyoncé’s many talents. Beyhive, if you’re reading this, please know this isn’t a dig at Beyoncé, whom I love and appreciate. It’s more just a question of…why? What is the end game with these posts?
It feels especially random given her other social media platforms. Her Instagram is a highly curated look into the most glamorous parts of her life. She doesn’t even write captions for the photos! She likes to maintain an ~air of mystery~ or something. Her Twitter literally serves as a place for her (or more likely, her publicists) to make career announcements. But then she’s out here on her website acting like your childhood best friend’s mom on Facebook wishing everyone a happy birthday on their wall. Make it make sense!!
And it looks like the people who get the shout-outs don’t know about them ahead of time. Take, for instance, Lizzo’s reaction to her birthday post. The below video clearly makes it seem like she didn’t have a clue about it, which is funny considering Bey used a childhood picture of the singer. Like, where did she get it?! That’s just another part of her magic, apparently. And maybe the only reason she does these posts is to spread joy, in which case I approve, but I need to know more.
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A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Apr 28, 2020 at 9:10pm PDT
Let us not forget that at the end of the day, Beyoncé is a 38-year-old mother of three. I think that like many women before her, the woman loves a good scrapbook and that is essentially what her website is to her. It’s a collection of photos of her life, some not fit for the ’gram, with shout-outs to family and friends weaved in. Is that not what your mom went to Hobby Lobby for every weekend from 2003 to 2008? Is that not what a whole table in your home was dedicated to, with stickers and tape and photo borders? Hers is just digital and doesn’t sit on your parents’ bookshelf collecting dust. In that case, scrapbook on, Beyoncé. Scrapbook on.
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