Just when we thought nothing could turn our January frowns upside down, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, one of Texas’s most beloved musicians, singlehandedly changed the course of 2017 with one social media post. On Wednesday, the proud Houston native took to Instagram to announce that she’s pregnant! With twins!
In traditional Beyoncé fashion, the announcement came out of the blue. But also quintessentially Beyoncé, it didn’t get out until she was ready to share it. Beyoncé has a long history of taking charge of all aspects of her work and identity in the public eye—something she discussed with her younger sister, Solange, when she interviewed her for Interview Magazine. Fans have become accustomed to her dropping videos, albums, and sometimes video albums with little to no warning. She briefly ended her period of not conducting interviews when she was interviewed by Elle in May of last year, but other than that, she’s maintained tight control over news about her music and her personal life, limiting most information to curated images on her social media accounts. We don’t find out what’s going on with Beyoncé until she’s ready for us to know. That includes her pregnancy announcements.
In 2011, she ended an energetic performance of “Love On Top” at the MTV Video Music Awards with a revealing belly rub and a knowing smile. In comparison, an announcement on Instagram may not seem to carry the same weight, but as always Beyoncé’s timing is impeccable.
ITS A BLACK HISTORY MONTH MIRACLE pic.twitter.com/XKDeWe7Jj7
— Michelle GLObama (@uhmmyeahh) February 1, 2017
2016 is what many consider to be Beyoncé’s blackest year, one in which she acknowledged black culture personally and politically. She began the year by dropping the music video for “Formation” and then a few days later, going on to perform the song at the Super Bowl with heavy pro-black and anti-police brutality visuals. Her album Lemonade, accompanied by the Emmy-nominated hour long short film of the same name, inspired a syllabus to track the multitude of black feminist inspirations in the album. So it doesn’t seem like mere coincidence that Beyoncé dropped her pregnancy announcement on the first day of Black History Month. Beyoncé may be out of the public eye (and now we know why), but she’s still black and proud.
Within minutes of the Instagram announcement, friends were messaging me with the news (as I was messaging other friends). My Instagram feed is full of people—friends and celebrities alike—reposting Beyoncé’s pregnancy picture. And of course, Twitter has taken off with the news as fans try to do the math to figure out how far along she is and guess the gender of her twins. #PregnantYoncé is now a hashtag ,and “Blue” was trending as people also tweeted about the soon-to-be big sister, Blue Ivy Carter.
Per usual, there are people insisting that pop culture is somehow a distraction from more important news. Others seem personally offended that someone would dare to celebrate another stranger. But it’s possible to discuss and care about more than one thing at once. People do it everyday. And it’s perfectly okay, perhaps even healthy, to be joyful about someone else’s good news. For Beyoncé fans everywhere, this tidbit is a welcome break from trying to keep up with the daily happenings of the world. At a time when things may look bleak, Beyoncé’s joy is our joy. And boy, do we deserve this joy.
Congratulations to Beyoncé and Jay-Z! And happy Black History Month!