BEYONCE: Branding A Diva

November 13th, 2012

This article was originally written by our Amy for Portable after an in-house debate about editor Kat George’s controversial Bey diatribe.

When Kat George preaches, I listen. I was right behind her with Lana Del Rey. She took a stand against No Doubt, and I grabbed my picket sign.

But then she posted this piece on my girl Bey, and I had to say something. I know that Kat loves Beyonce. I love Beyonce, from the early Destiny’s Child days to the terrible acting in Austin Powers: Goldmember to her amazing solo work, I’m behind her all the way. But furthermore, for all of the reasons that Kat has methodically laid out and analyzed to a tee, I love her even more. That element of control which can seem manipulative to the public is anything but, and in fact makes her even more of a pleasure to watch and follow.

Look, I get it. Beyonce cannot possibly look that well-coiffed all of the time. There’s no way that she walks out of her house, especially now as a mother, and radiates diva the way that all of her website’s pictures would indicate. I would argue though, that that isn’t the point. Beyonce is about as big of a celebrity as they come, and her job is grounded in the personality that she has had to cultivate. As such, she needs to be a professional of her personality, where you or I would need to be a professional of accounting or creative development or coffee making. This is a huge part of what she is paid for.

Beyonce has to have complete control over her brand. As someone who works professionally in brand management, it is integral for every company or entity to have a concise and consistent perception of their own identity and that it permeates throughout all of their operations. As an individual, Beyonce is tasked with the same idea in what is ultimately much more challenging. For a superstar, she has to cull all of this together in a way that issues control but still allows for a strong connection between her and her audience. That is precisely where this website comes in; it fills that void and allows us to see exactly what we want to see. We want to see diva. We want to see beauty. And that is exactly what she gives us.

Even further, I would argue that it isn’t important that we see Beyonce’s flaws. It isn’t important to get to the “grit,” because that isn’t who Beyonce is and she knows that. If we look at the pop stars of her ilk that have shown their “true selves” in the press, we would be kidding ourselves to think that it wasn’t timed perfectly by their PR team and strategists. Is it a coincidence that Britney’s psychotic break was timed with the decline of her career? Or that Lady Gaga hasn’t had a hit single for months and suddenly she is in the press for her weight gain? I would venture to say it isn’t, though, of course, I can’t confirm.

Beyonce doesn’t enter that game, but she is surely aware that it exists. Her website might not be “real,” in the sense of our perception of reality, but it is incredibly real to the identity that Beyonce has spent her entire career creating, and in that way she might be better than the Gagas and the Spears’ combined. Perhaps she’s the realist bitch after all.

And hey, at the end of the day, we all get to look at a shit ton of beautiful pictures of Bey. You’ll never see me complaining about that.