Beyonce is at it again! She’s faking reality and pretending that we don’t notice and are not offended by her intentional deceit. Is this capacity for suspending disbelief part of the DNA of her itinerant celebrity status? Pretending to really sing the National Anthem at Obama’s second inauguration was but the latest straw breaking our camel back. Four years ago, we addressed the performance fakery of Yo Yo Ma at Obama’s first inauguration; and the second time around — we’re stuck with No Mo’ Beyonce.
Kelly Clarkson killed her song for Obama — and she sang it live. Beyonce, obviously afraid of a cold weather disaster, risked nothing, and pretended to sing along with a recording of herself. The great singers of our lifetime would never lip-sync a song in public without expecting to get caught, mocked, and condemned. We are happy to oblige.
I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised. Beyonce’s public track record as a pretender is pretty clear. She grave robbed dance ideas from Bob Fosse. She pretended she isn’t Black. She appeared to have faked her entire pregnancy by wearing a prosthetic “baby bump” to win human sympathy for an experience she did not earn or even begin to have.
How should we respond to public phonies like Beyonce who demand our attention and devotional adoration? Do we really want to follower her and give her our money — or do we really need to ask her to stand up to reality and deal with doing the right thing as we are expected to do every day?
If she isn’t careful, Beyonce risks becoming a cartoon of what started out to be a real and promising career as a performer. Now she is becoming a joke upon herself with all this gerrymandering of what was once a mighty talent. She could be busy. She might be tired. She should never be a faker, though, and it is our duty as her admirers to ask her to knock it off and get real all over again.