Beyonce and Empowerment: Can Art be Created in a Bubble?

So I watched the HBO Documentary “Life is but a Dream” by Beyonce. As to why, well I enjoy some of her performances and “Single Ladies” and “Crazy in Love” are catchy. Further, I thought, maybe a woman this successful might have something to reveal of interest.

I was wrong. I did live tweet my experience here but the largest let down besides the heaping dose of narcissim was how unempowered and dependent Beyonce is.

This woman is never is alone and records every moment of her existence. It leads one to believe if she wasn’t observed or constantly performing she may have an off switch and is actually a Beyonce Bot. She spends some time in the middle of the documentary explaining how she is pushing a pro woman agenda but has no specific articulation as to what that is except equal pay or some nonsense that statistically isn’t true or further ridiculous coming from someone who gets paid what Beyonce does.

This empowerment message is barely noticeable over the staging, thousand scantily clad dancers and Beyonce showing off their “empowerments”. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the innate power a woman can have to turn heads and don’t think there’s a thing wrong with it. However, if you are trying to tell me you are down with the “cause” you might want to bring more to the table than short skirts.

When most of the choices facing Beyonce are described even by her as simply happening to her, it further undermines her independent visage. Like many celebrities who make it young, she is more in a state of permanent adolescence. Free will, independence, rugged individualism are far removed from her celebrity bubble. Its not shocking that she would support the Obama administration after watching this. She herself is in a permanant state of nannying by handlers.

The few awkward moments where she tries to frame her work as art not confection are sad in the sense that she has no idea that a life so isolated and insulated is the last way to create art that truly moves ones soul. Perhaps this is why Hollywood and the industry in general rarely produces art any more and churns out more and more forgettable confections.

Overall recommendation: Skip the Documentary. You’ll enjoy Beyonce more the less you know.