Raise your hand if you give a flip that Beyonce used a recorded track to sing the national anthem at the Inauguration. No one? Me neither. As far as I'm concerned, she has nothing to prove. She's extremely talented. Of course she can sing, but it was an important day and a flub wouldn't just look bad on her, it would have looked bad on the prez of AMERICA. I get it. But people got all up in arms as people tend to do and rained a little hate on our unofficial national treasure.
Seriously, some jerkface in the senate called for Obama to resign over this non-issue.* Big deal, you heard a recording! You hear them every time you turn on the radio and I don't see people smashing their cars off ravines because of it.
Beyonce doesn't get much bad press, but when she does, she has one go-to move. A call for sympathy. She brings up her miscarriage. BeyJey gave some statements about their documentary this week that focused on that aspect of their lives in the film. Hm, public criticism followed by statements about their miscarriage? If it sounds familiar, it is because a year ago when the couple were under public siege for all their diva demands to shut down an entire hospital wing for Blue Ivy's birth, Jay-Z released a track he had made about their previous miscarriage. Subtext: "You can't hate on me, I've been through PAIN". Other peoples' miscarriages are extremely awkward and still relatively taboo. Critics? Silenced.
I've had two miscarriages. They suck. They are terrible. You feel like a failure as a human being and the sadness can be paralyzing. BUT. What does having a miscarriage have anything to do with misrepresenting yourself at your job, i.e. using a prerecorded track when you are hired to perform live? I have a problem with people using their life pain to deflect from legit criticism in other facets of their lives.
I actually really like Beyonce and I don't mean to use this example to tear them down because a) the criticism of them is highly unwarranted and b) miscarriages are indeed terrible. The larger point I'd like to make is that when you use your life pain as a shield against criticism in unrelated areas, you're not facing the music. Just ask for sympathy in the honest way. Hey, I've had a bad day, cut me some slack. You don't need to go selling out your pain for sympathy. You don't owe people that.
Of course there times when it's fair to humanize yourself. If someone makes a jab about your serial killer handwriting, it's okay to mention you have the shakes because of trauma. If someone says you are snobby, it's alright to mention your austere beginnings. What's not okay is if someone criticises your reckless driving and you trump their concern with but I was abandoned in the woods! Maybe you were abandoned in the woods, but that doesn't mean it's okay to run red lights with passengers in the car.
In college I once confronted a roommate for letting her boyfriend smoke weed in our dorm. I was a scholarship kid and the school rules stated that if anyone had drugs in their dorm, all parties were responsible. I was like, "how can you jeopardize my education? If you guys get caught, I'm out of here!" and she blurted out she was pregnant. Unplanned pregnancies trump feeble concerns over hypothetical pot busts, so the conversation flipped a switch to how we were going to help her and the pot problem was never addressed again. In case you care, which you don't, she wasn't really pregnant.
The path to being a responsible person is just fessing up and moving on. Guys, Beyonce doesn't owe us her pain to justify not wanting to sing in 40-degree wind. I LOVE YOU BEY! CALL ME!
*Gah! It was satire, my bad. But it's sad we live in a world where that's not immediately recognized as satire. I was abandoned in the woods, OKAY!??!
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Filed under: Memory Lane