In case you’ve been in a coma for the last day and just woke up, Jay-Z, wife Beyonce and her sister Solange attended last week’s Met Gala and then headed to an afterparty at NYC’s Standard Hotel. After leaving the party, they got into an elevator and Solange proceeded to curse, spit at, hit and kick Jay-Z, while Beyonce, for the most part, stood by and did nothing. Admirably, Jay-Z didn’t retaliate in kind.
But if not for the quick action of the couple’s longtime bodyguard, Julius, who stopped the elevator, restrained Solange and sent Beyonce and Solange off in a separate car from Jay-Z’s, things might have been worse. (Note to the couple: he definitely deserves a raise).
If there is anything we know for sure about the altercation, it’s that we will never really know what happened. Days afterward, but before the surveillance tape surfaced, Beyonce and her husband were photographed hanging out at Brooklyn Nets game with actor Jake Gyllenhall as though nothing went on at all, though seeing the pics from the game now, Beyonce looks unusually subdued.
Monday night, the day the tape surfaced, the couple attended yet another Nets game, again putting a good public face on a bad public relations moment. Short of a tell-all book or a disgruntled employee lawsuit (or as Oprah found out, an angry ex-stepmother) nothing else is likely to surface about the altercation and whatever goes on behind closed doors in the Carter marriage.
We wouldn’t know this much if not for the fact that someone at the Standard figured, and rightly so, that TMZ would pay for the exclusive footage, which runs for 3-and-a half-minutes without audio. Days later, a prayer Beyonce posted to Instagram about relationships makes more sense.
The real breaking news here?, Guess what, Beyonce is human, too. Given the attention paid to every word, deed, song lyric, social media post, pregnancy, haircut and concert that Beyonce is involved in, maybe it’s time everyone, including the singer herself, allowed her some humanity. She’s not a deity from above sent to bring a message of spiritual hope to the masses. That’s Jesus’s job. She’s a singer. She’s an actress. She’s an entertainer.
From the woman on YouTube who damn near had a coronary when Beyonce’s self-titled CD hit the web without warning, to the excesses of the Beyhive who are ready to come to the Queen’s defense against any perceived enemies, to feminist scholar bell hooks calling her a “terrorist” because she wore a sexy outfit on the cover of the Time ‘100 Most Influential Issue,’ to Bill O’Reilly frothing at the mouth over every skimpy outfit she wears, maybe it’s time to recognize that Beyonce is just like you and me.
She’s a hard-working wife, mother and businesswoman with marital and family issues. She may not have to struggle to pay the light bill, or wonder where Blue Ivy’s next meal is coming from or what would happen if her man were out of work, but she, too, has problems. Maybe Solange stood up for her sister because despite her career success, Beyonce’s passive in her personal life.
An alleged tweet from Solange (or a very talented Photoshopper) says just that – that Jay hit Beyonce and Solange was tired of it. If that’s true, the elevator fight becomes a lot more understandable. But it’s the Internet and if the tweet was real, it was quickly deleted. Is it possible that Solange has mental issues or a quick temper or both, as has been suggested? Sure, and if so, it’s got to be devastating to watch your own sister decline to the point that she would attack your husband.
As the only people who know exactly why what happened in that elevator are B, Jay, Solange and Julius, we won’t ever really know the answers. As they say, those that know don’t tell and those that tell don’t know. What we do know is that Beyonce’s carefully crafted public image, the result of years of her own hard work, as well as it the work of many others on her team, has been tainted.
But it instead of hurting her, seeing that she too, deals with Real People Problems, will only endear her to her fans even more. In an elevator, dressed in a thousand dollar Givenchy gown with all the money and fame in the world at her disposal, Beyonce and those closest to her, had a human, relatable moment.
It was three people, outside of the public eye, if not the electronic one, working out issues that may have been festering for years, in their own way. Although most of us believe violence isn’t the way to resolve problems, we all want to be protected. Some of us are fortunate to have family members willing step on our behalf when we can’t do what we need to for our own good.
Or was it just one bad moment Solange regretted hours later? Maybe. We’ve all been in the middle of vicious family rifts that later work themselves out and those that sadly, never do. We can expect Jay-Z and Beyonce to continue to show a public face of happiness, especially with their joint “On the Run” tour slated for the summer and Jay’s “Welcome to America” concert series expanding from Philadelphia to a concurrent concert in L.A. this year.
But if just for a second, we got a glimpse behind the curtain and realized that there are real people standing there, maybe that’s something that will turn out to be a good thing in the end – for Beyonce and for us.