Recently, while scrolling through statuses on Facebook, I noticed one of my friends posted a link to a tumblr page called, “Am I Beyoncé yet?” Curious what that meant, I clicked on it and ended up experiencing a genuinely profound moment of self-realization and general understanding about the human condition. I was unprepared for this epiphany – as my pants may bear witness to – and felt transformed by the events that follow. So I implore you. Please. Before you read on, ask with me, “Am I Beyoncé yet?”
That’s the very first thing you see when the tumblr loads. An austere dark-grey background punctuated by blinding bursts of rectangular white that have status updates inscribed within. Next to the column of the blog’s content is a picture of the beautiful pop-star herself. Smiling at someone or something to the side. Maybe you. For being on this page. Because that’s the thing: this tumblr is the ongoing diary of someone waking up everyday and checking the mirror to see whether or not she (or he) has become Beyoncé yet. And every single day, only one new, identical post appears: “I’m not yet Beyoncé.” And every single day from the first post three weeks ago, this state of being “not-yet-Beyoncé” has endured. This poor sad figure is like a child who just discovered that Santa isn’t real and yet sits in his or her room morbidly depressed, hoping and praying for the jolly diabetic altruist to come into existence and whisk him or her away to somewhere better than this ramshackle midwestern American hovel in the middle of a ghetto periodically penetrated by suburbia like a straw trying to pierce the tight opening of a Caprisun pouch. And daily this sense of hopeful exuberance and optimism for something better is entirely and completely crushed by reality. The fact that there will never ever come a time when the fabric of logic will fall away, like a sexy silk negligee after a few martinis, and allow you to turn into Beyoncé. It will never ever be, like a bad Christopher Nolan film.
And yet this person endures. And there’s something beautiful about that. In spite of all good sense, this person does not lose hope in something unattainable. This hope is infectious, and it reaches out of the computer screen, flopping about in your face uncomfortably like a tentacle in a Japanese movie. And after a while, you the reader, stops resisting, and just lets those slimy limbs of hope have their way with your common sense, and you soon start hoping for this person to be successful. Why can’t she (or he) pull a Kafka and wake up one morning to a unsuspecting Jay-Z? Maybe one day, if I follow this tumblr, I’ll be deliriously happy – and a little scared – to find that…it worked. This digital-Rocky just knocked down reality’s Apollo Creed and is now dancing around as an absurdly attractive pop star. And if that can be, what can’t be? The chips are down and the cards are off the table. Nothing is impossible anymore. And you smile. And feel hopeful. But then you wonder…
If this actually worked, what would happen to Beyoncé? Would she disappear into the ether like a Cubone’s mother?
Speaking of mothers, Beyoncé actually is one, and there’s something very dark about essentially separating a mother from her child, of taking over her role, and raising her baby, like Glenn Close tried to do in Fatal Attraction. Chances are the person trying this has no immediate interest in being a parent or a wife, so much as being beautiful, talented, and rich. And so, Blue Ivy Carter would grow up slightly dejected by a suddenly aloof mother, seeking solace in her loving father, as the two bond and cope with the sudden change in personality. She would develop a complex over the years, of never wanting to be like her and denounce all pop music – and yes, even all black people – becoming an unsuccessful country-music star who numbs her failures with cocaine and ecstasy, slowly and slowly becoming Lindsay Lohan.
But there is one last thing to consider. Something so disturbing, I had to quit writing this for a moment to watch Louie and regain a bit of faith in humanity first. What if…what if it’s Beyoncé herself posting? Think about that. What if the incredible pressure of being what people consider Beyoncé to be has driven her to seek solace in a tumblr page? She’s humble, and every day she wakes up, she reminds herself that, “I’m not yet Beyoncé”. Not yet. But she will be, and that thought both comforts and terrifies her. She’s only herself and not her persona for a few brief hours in the morning and during her unconscious rest at night. Because then, out of sight of a greedy, entitled audience, she can have some semblance of peace, surrounding by family and close friends. But then she wakes up, and with a chill, she realizes, “I’m not yet Beyoncé.”
“But I will be.”