Beyoncé announced earlier this week that the Carter family will be growing by two, and the world sort of exploded. The singer always had elaborate plans when it comes to announcing her expectancy. While pregnant with Blue Ivy, the singer ended her 2011 VMA performance by opening her blazer and revealing a baby bump. This time around however, Beyoncé took to a more personal outlet, her Instagram account. The photo of Queen Bey surrounded by flowers and adorned with a veil immediately became the most liked photo on Instagram. Sure, it may at first look like one of Queen Bey’s immaculate attempts to announce her pregnancy, but the message behind the photo setup, the way the singer has portrayed herself resonates a much deeper meaning.
- The post was released on February 1st
Which is coincidentally (or perhaps not so much) the start of Black History Month. Beyoncé has never been shy about her strong stance against racial discrimination, and white supremacy. This time around, it was an obvious attempt at bringing more light and attention to the African American narrative.
The symbolism was heavy, and all fingers pointed towards Beyoncé re-appropriating the Virgin Mary into something that was her own. More importantly, it was about de-centralizing being white from historic icons. In most forms of art, Virgin Mary is depicted as white, even pale. Cultural critic Richard Dyer showed that “in Western representation, whites are overwhelmingly and disproportionately predominant, have the central and elaborated roles, and above all are placed as the norm, the ordinary, the standard. Whites are everywhere in representation.” Religious iconography in particular, usually depict holy figures as white, pushing towards the idea that being white is more “divine”. Which brings us to..
- Beyoncé trying to de-centralize white from cultural norms.
Beyoncé challenges the normative white depiction of the Virgin Mary, whom geographically would unlikely be white.
- Elle magazine suggests Beyoncé aims to counter fake pregnancy rumors.
Being in the public eye, Beyoncé was faced with some tabloids suggesting her 2011 pregnancy belly was fake. By donning minimal clothes, perhaps the singer aimed to silence the doubters this time around.