Happy birthday to Beyonce Giselle Knowles-Carter, who turns thirty-two today. I think we can all agree (or I can agree, and you can blindly follow my lead) that Beyonce can pretty much do no wrong. She’s one of the most famous human beings on the planet, yet she manages to keep her life reasonably private and control the information that gets released about her family. She has stellar business sense, poise and class, and has proven herself to be an insanely talented performer while still remaining humble. I mean come on — she’s friends with Barack and Michelle Obama and yet she still makes time for the Kid President. It’s absurd, in the best way possible.
But what are birthdays for, if not to point out the moments in someone’s life where they maybe fell a little short? I know I, for one, always had a meltdown on my special day because there was so much pressure on me and I couldn’t take it. I had to set aside that sacred moment every 365 days to cry at my own party and really just get all the feelings out there, y’know? (Someone should write a song about that.)
So in order to help with the catharsis on Queen Bey’s special day, I thought I’d bring up some of those key moments in her life. And when I say some of them, I really mean all of them, because I think we’re all aware of the fact that she’s only pissed people off twelve times EVER. In her whole career. And here are each and every one of those moments in all of their isolated glory. Read on, humans, and bring on the tears, Beyonce. IT’S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD.
1. When she and Jay Z went to Cuba for their anniversary.
The most talked-about anniversary trip in the history of anniversary trips. In April 2013, Jay and Bey traveled to Cuba to celebrate their fifth anniversary, which no one would’ve batted an eye at…except that Cuba is currently under travel embargo, meaning it’s illegal for American citizens to go there solely for the purpose of tourism. The two of them did get a cultural exchange license that allowed them to make the trip without breaking the law, but people were not psyched about it.
I know what you’re thinking — didn’t this very website present proof that she didn’t use a surrogate? Yes, yes we did. But that doesn’t mean anyone was any less convinced or any less pissed after they saw her belly do that folding-in-half thing during that interview in October 2011. Unsolved mysteries.
It was masquerading as a Destiny’s Child reunion, but the other ladies were only onstage for a matter of minutes, and Bey made them sing ‘Single Ladies’ with her. (Plus poor Michelle Williams barely made it onstage.) Ah, the indignity.
At President Obama’s second inauguration, in January of 2013, Beyonce lip-synched her rendition of The Star Spangled Banner because there wasn’t time available for her to rehearse with the orchestra and she wasn’t comfortable winging it at such an important event. Hey, at least she admitted it.
(Image: Ezra Shaw / Getty Images Sport)
6. When she made that stink about removing those photos from BuzzFeed.
We all have off-photo days, Beyonce just doesn’t want the world knowing about hers. So when photos of her looking like she was a human being exerting effort and sweat in her Super Bowl performance came out in February 2013, she tried to get them pulled from the internet. Bad form, Bey.
7. That time she named her daughter Blue Ivy.
THAT’S NOT A NAME, BEYONCE. But if it were, it would have been voted the Worst Baby Name of 2012. Also, no need to go suing a catering company for having the same name as her before she was born, right?
8. When she titled a song ‘Bow Down’.
How dare you call us ‘bitches’ in the lyrics of that song, Beyonce? After everything we’ve done for you. Did you get a little too drunk on St. Patrick’s Day 2013 and feel the need to rub it in our faces that we should bow down to you? Because we already were.
9. The fact that she let her mom dress her for so long.
Tina Knowles is a lot of things, but a fashion designer should not be one of them. That period where she was allowed to be the stylist for Destiny’s Child went on a looooong time, ladies.
10. That time she pissed off PETA.
In 2006, the animal rights organization criticized her for wearing and using fur in her own fashion line, House of Deréon. C’mon girl.
11. When her skin color was offensive.
I don’t know if you know this, but Beyonce’s skin color is either too light or too dark, never just right. In 2011, she appeared in a L’Oreal commercial for which the company was accused of lightening her skin. Then in 2012, she was on the cover of a French magazine, L’Officiel, in blackface and tribal makeup, and people were even more upset. In the future, we hope that Beyonce will have a higher level of awareness as to what we as a population are comfortable with.
After all her claims that she’s for female empowerment and whatnot, Beyonce went and named her tour The Mrs. Carter Tour. People were up in arms about it. Nevermind that she and Jay both officially changed their last names to Carter-Knowles — LET US RUN YOUR LIFE AND MAKE YOUR DECISIONS, BEYONCE.
Happy birthday, lady! I’d say you can have maybe eight more career mistakes over your whole life, if you need that many, and I’ll go ahead and keep track of them for you, okay? You’re welcome. Be smart out there.