Signs your husband’s cheating on you, and everybody knows:
You meet your friend’s friend at a dinner party, and you catch that flicker of pity in her eyes as she recognises, ‘Oh, you’re that one.’
Dinner conversation turns to a well-known womaniser. Table goes silent. Subject is quickly changed.
Much too quickly, your friends ask, “Are you okay?” when you turn up for breakfast without mascara.
Now, imagine you’re Beyonce and multiply that by a billion. Everywhere you go, people are staring and whispering. Yes, because you’re Beyonce. But also, because you’re with him.
Lawyers are deployed, statements released, but still the rumours buzz and buzz, ever-so slightly out of ear-shot, just above your head.
The Internet compiles timelines of your marital problems. Your sister causes a scene in an elevator.
You write lots of songs about how hot your sex life is. In the back of limos. On the beach. In the club.
You go on tour with him. You call your tour by your married name, just to ram home the point.
You are the Queen of the World, but still, that flicker of pity remains.
What do you do?
Well, you’re Beyonce. So here’s what you do. You decide that if the world is going to cast you as the woman scorned, you are going to OWN being the world’s most scorned woman. You are going to write what is quaintly referred to as an “album” about it. You are going to make a MOVIE about. You are going to throw on a designer yellow ruffly dress and SMASH CARS UP about it. via GIPHY
And for an entire week in 2016, all that anyone will be talking about is you, your marriage, your cheating dog of a husband, that b*tch who slept with him, and how you suddenly made being a wronged wife The Culture.
Yes, that. That’s what you’ll do. In case you have been trapped under a heavy, WIFI-blocking device, Beyonce’s husband cheated on her. And this weekend, she dropped Lemonade, a music-and-film extravaganza, that for 36 hours or so, was only available on Tidal, the music sharing service owned by her cheating dog husband.
On it, she struts and talks and sings and raps about a husband who strays. Her fury. Her jealousy. Her stubborn refusal not to let his stupidity blow up her family. Her decision to choose forgiveness. Her love for him. And, you know, some other really important stuff, like race, politics and feminism.
Now, I am no expert, but delivering an epic audio masterpiece, with accompanying videos, all produced, choreographed, written, styled and directed to within an inch of perfection by the coolest (mostly female) collaborators who walk the earth… that stuff takes some time. And just a little focus.
A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Nov 22, 2015 at 11:44am PST
So let’s not assume that Mr Beyonce, as we shall from here in refer to Jay Z, did not know that this epic smack down was coming.
Let’s not assume that anyone in Beyonce’s orbit wasn’t precisely aware that when Her Beyness made an oblique reference to the identity of her husband’s supposed lover, killer bees would be deployed and reputations would lie in ruins.
Let’s not dream that Mr and Mrs Beyonce don’t lie in bed together somewhere in the bowels of one of their many epic mansions and giggle about what fun it is to mess with the common people’s heads.
Let’s not pretend that these people are in any way normal any more.
But among the many gifts Beyonce has given the world – the Single Ladies dance, for starters – she has now restored some pride to one of the most pathetic caricatures in popular culture: The wronged wife.
In 90 minutes, she has taken the idea that there’s anything tragic about the woman who stays and blasted it stratospheric.
A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Oct 3, 2015 at 1:11pm PDT
Because if you’re Beyonce, and the universe knows that your husband has been cheating on you, you make sure they also know this:
I KNOW. I’m not an idiot, people.
I MAKE THE DECISIONS AROUND HERE, thank you. And I choose to stay.
SIXTEEN YEARS IS A LONG, LONG TIME. And I’m not throwing that away.
I AM COMPLEX. I can be Mrs Carter AND wield a baseball bat.
HAVE YOU SEEN MY DAUGHTER? She’s loved.
HAVE YOU HEARD MY STUFF? It’s better than his.
YOU’RE BUYING THIS. And I am buying another mansion.
Beyonce is coming into her golden age. Every time she creates, it’s bolder and braver and more complex and layered than before. A woman who was once defined by “bootylicious” , by leotards and sparkles and big hair now makes music that people write dissertations about. And she is a brutal businesswoman, even happy to throw her hard-fought privacy under the bus to make you listen, to make you click, to make you buy.
There’s not one tiny thing that’s tragic about this wronged wife. She is powerful beyond all imagining.
Indeed, it’s true about a woman scorned – hell really does have no fury.
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Jay-Z isn’t the only one who has been dishonest in his marriage. Watch the Mamamia team reveal the biggest lies they’ve told their partners…