I have been a longtime fan of Beyoncé—ever since she was in the group Destiny’s Child. I think that despite her high-wattage appeal, she has always come across as a humble person. That’s probably why I respond so positively to her. I appreciate celebrities who seem to share and express the same feelings as we “normal” people do. In her new HBO documentary, Life is But a Dream, we see much more of the real Beyoncé, and while her wealth, fame and celebrity lifestyle separate her from most of the rest of the world, what emerges is a portrait of a woman, a professional, a wife and partner—and more than anything, a mom.
Don’t let her larger-than-life presence fool you. As she told Oprah in an interview before the film’s release: “I’m a human being. I cry, I’m extremely sensitive, my feelings get hurt, I get scared, I get nervous like anyone else.” Her face beams when she talks about her feelings for her husband, rap titan Jay-Z and she nearly chokes up when she speaks of young daughter Blue Ivy. As a mother and wife looking in, I was able to connect with her, as I’m sure many women could.
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Many times, as an audience, we search for drama, live vicariously through, and judge celebrities for, their behavior. It’s easy to think, because someone like Beyoncé is traveling in private jets while the rest of us are waiting at the bus stop, that she is not like us. But in her documentary, we see an ambitious woman who, while she may not be “just like us,” wants the same things that almost every woman wants—a loving partner, a family, a fulfilling career we can be proud of.
Unfortunately for Beyoncé (though admittedly, it’s hard to feel sorry for her when watching Life is But a Dream), her line of work forces her to live her life in the public eye. But at the end of the day, Beyoncé sounds pretty much like any of us. She is a woman with daily struggles, goals for her future, and concern for the well-being of her daughter and husband. Her life may be something of a dream, but her dreams aren’t so different from yours or mine. As for me, I’m just grateful that I’m not under the same microscope! Have you seen the documentary? What is your take?