Is Beyoncé an Egomaniac?

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Like her song Ego says, usually she’s humble, but in her recent GQ interview, Beyoncé professed, “I now know that, yes, I am powerful… I’m more powerful than my mind can even digest and understand.”

Queue the chorus, “I got a big ego… Such a huge ego…” and then queue the responses from sites like Dlisted (the quote below is actually quite funny) and the comments found on the original article itself, “..sounds like she wants to be worshipped,” “Beyoncé sounds like an egomaniac.”

I have a tendency to play devil’s advocate. I also have an affinity for females in a strong lead, at least that’s what Netflix tells me. Nevertheless, I actually had the opposite response to the article. I had heard about it and sought it out because I needed to ‘hear’ it. I needed to hear someone say that they’ve been able to get that far. To see only ego in her statement is to miss some really important truths.

First, celebrity’s are powerful no matter how modest and sweet some may appear. I’m sure we all remember when Oprah was sued back in 1998 for purportedly causing the beef market to lose $11 million dollars after comments on her show about mad cow disease. Alina Cho of CNN, on the topic of Michelle Obama’s influence on the fashion industry, reports that, “a single appearance by the First Lady in a designer’s clothes is worth 14-million dollars. …Tally up all of her public appearances for the year and that’s a nearly 3-billion dollar boost to the fashion industry.” The word Bootylicious is now in the Oxford English Dictionary because Beyoncé used it in one of her many hit songs. How many of us can say we’ve done anything remotely like that. Beyoncé and women like her are powerful. Is it wrong for her to say it?

Maybe she just needed to say it the way Marianne Williamson said it:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond imagination. It is our light more than our darkness which scares us. We ask ourselves – who are we to be brilliant, beautiful, talented, and fabulous. But honestly, who are you to not be so?

It’s hard to fathom that we would fear success more than we would failure, or rather lack of success. But I’m starting to suspect that this is an actual truth.

Sure over-confidence can be off-putting. But modesty is overvalued and too much of it can be detrimental. Over-exposure to too much modesty and not enough accomplishment can set standards low to a point where we’re not pushing ourselves for more. Ambition often takes on a negative connotation, but ambition is a means of personal growth. It’s the fuel that takes you to a place that you’ve never been before and as a result, you evolve. Keep in mind, personal evolution is no easy feat. It’s hard work. It’s risky and scary. And I think that’s the part that we really fear, not the actual greatness but the work and commitment required to be great.

I have my own personal religion, but I like to say that we were made in his likeness; that God said “let there be light” and created the sun. Meanwhile, Thomas Edison said “Let there be light” and flipped a switch. We can be great. We have it in our DNA. We all have that potential. We all just don’t commit to realizing it.

I suspect that the part of us that scoffs at greatness, at an acknowledgement of power, calling it self-righteous, is the part of us that’s subconsciously aware that we haven’t done everything we can to be all that we can be.

I’ll be outright, modesty is most appreciated by people who haven’t achieved anything. I know from personal experience, when you’re not where you want to be in life, it feels better to be around people that are in your same place or further behind. Meanwhile people that are further along, make us aware of our shortcomings and then we find ourselves posting a comment on GQ magazine calling Beyoncé an egomaniac.

Beyoncé is powerful and I appreciate her honesty. Is there such thing as too much power? Of course. Is Beyoncé at that point? Who knows. But what we can take away from her is that where she is in life is a place that is possible to get to. She’s demonstrating how far we can go if we want to go in that direction. So for that, I appreciate her lack of modesty.

Photo Credit: GQ
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An entrepreneur at heart, I founded Unruly in 2013 after spending six great years in advertising. I’m über lazy when it comes to doing my hair so I’m always looking for easy and quick ways to care and style my hair.

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  1. I have nothing against any woman who achieves her goals in life; whatever they are. And I don’t care what she looks like; beautiful or ugly, because what wisdom has taught me is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And what my grandmother taught me is; pretty is as pretty does. You can be beautiful on the outside, but ugly from within. As a pretty girl growing up, I was reminded of this constantly, less I became too vain. Therefore I believe that some modesty builds good moral character. I believe this not because I haven’t accomplished much, by some standards, but because in my opinion immodesty and vanity Is ugliness. You contradict yourself. One moment you write; don’t judge yourself by the benchmarks of others, and then you turn around and say that people who believe in modesty do so because they haven’t accomplished anything. This is fallacy. God would not have us to boast, because all that we accomplish is due to His mercy, grace and favor. Glory belongs to God and God alone. Now on to my comment. I do feel that Beyonce’ has gone Beyond Egomania. Have you heard her song where she actually says; “Bow down bitches?” Who the !@$%$ does she think she is? I bow to no one but God almighty. So what; Beyonce’ got a word added into the dictionary.!!! My God created the heavens and the earth. He created man. I’d like to see her do that. And if and when she can perform these great acts; then perhaps her accomplishments will finally be equivalent to her massive ego.

    • Hi A’Doris,

      Thanks for the comment. I think you make a good point when you say “… As a pretty girl growing up, I was reminded of this constantly, less I became too vain. Therefore I believe that some modesty builds good moral character.” It is easy to become to self-involved.

      You’re kind of right about my contradiction. I can clarify. I don’t believe in comparing yourself to others when it comes to assessing your own self-worth or HAPPINESS. But I do believe in using other people to identify what’s possible. They say we’re only as good as what we’ve been exposed to. If we don’t see what’s possible we may not aspire to do more, which is one of the reasons why we have our Working Girl column I began my career in digital advertising; I didn’t even know that existed I just stumbled into it, quite literally. There are a lot of things that I can be or want but if I don’t know they exist we may never pursue them, which is why I think it’s good to use others to identify the things we might want.

      I agree boasting isn’t necessary. If you’re accomplished or beautiful or whatever, you don’t need to rub it in anyone’s face. But I still maintain that the desire for modesty is quite often used to disguise feelings inadequacy AKA “hateration.”

      LOL @ “Bow Down” that song is a bit extrad!


  2. Good for Beyoncé. What a strong character to make such a statement that she probably knew people would want bash her for. She’s a good role model for women who need to learn that it’s ok to have self-esteem and lots of it.

  3. Beyonce is powerful only because young people today worship celebrities in a way that they did not in the past. Using social media and publicists who work 24/7, celebrities are able to create a false sense of “intimacy” and immediacy that makes fans feel as though they know them.

    What’s more, young women no longer seem to grow out of that celebrity worship phase. They carry it far into their adulthood.

    The question to ask is, while you’re out there hanging on her every tweet, what’s happening in your own life?

    Beyonce has power? To do what exactly? Make more money? Appear on a magazine cover? Fill a stadium? Singlehandedly keep the hair weave and lacefront industry in business? Have young girls all over the world copy her? Get invited to the White House?

    Beyonce’s career will eventually fade as they all do. She is an entertainer. Period. Who cares about her ego?

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