Last Sunday, I watched the Superbowl. As a non-fan, I went into the party more excited about the prospect of gorging on American comfort food like chili and wings rather than the actual game itself. Then the half-time show started and I sat in front of the television like a giddly child, watching Beyoncé show the entire world just why she’s the most successful female performer in the world right now.
It was spectacular. Everything it could have been and more. Billboard magazine’s Brad Wete will back me up on that one—they called it “easily one of the best ever”.
But I knew as soon as it was over that it wouldn’t be enough. It’s never enough for some people. Despite the fact that she gave the performance of a career, there’s still criticism and what’s most surprising is that it’s coming from other women. The Globe and Mail‘s Wency Leung’s asks “Did Beyoncé hog the spotlight?” and Slate‘s Julia Turner asks “why did you insult your former bandmates?”
Excuse me? Hog the spotlight? Beyoncé was hired to perform at the Superbowl, not Destiny’s Child. And the fact that she included the other two members of her former girl group speaks to the wisdom of this woman—she paid homage to her past by inviting her former bandmates to share the spotlight. How is that an insult? According to Turner, it’s because she “chose to be stingy about sharing the spotlight.” Leung, while she doesn’t particularly give any further insight into how this was “hogging the spotlight”, chose to focus on this rather than praise the woman for creating such a spectacle and finding a way to incorporate her old colleagues. Even former bandmate LaTavia Roberson tweeted the ecstatic but succinct following: “hats off to Bee’s halftime show! She murdered it!!!”
Why is it that when a woman brings her band back together to do a medley she’s lambasted for not giving them more of a spotlight? Why should she? What did the other two singers that equals to the work she’s put into her career? Yes. She’s a better performer than the other two. We knew it back then when she was the frontwoman of Destiny’s Child and we still know it today as we go back to that Superbowl performance and see the level of confidence and complexity she put into her own performance.
No one said to Sir Paul McCartney when he brought strangely enough the former members of Nirvana on stage with him to perform a new song together at the Hurrican Sandy Relief Concert that he didn’t give them enough of the limelight. Mostly we just said “huh?” since it was such a strange team-up. But there wasn’t a single person who sneered at the fact that the other band members didn’t get enough time onstage. It wasn’t their performance—it was Macca’s. Likewise it was Beyonce’s turn to shine and she outshone everyone. She brought the Superdome to its knees and we’re still ragging on her for not doing this, that or the other.
Shame on Turner and Leung for being such trolls. The success of our fellow women should bolster our own pride and make us seek to better ourselves in our own careers. Why put our energies into tearing each other down when there are plenty of men who are willing to do it for us. Pettiness is ugly and it takes too much time and effort.