She’s beautiful, talented and a trendsetter. She’s blasted through all the noise to become one of the most respected, highest-paid and idolized humans of our time. Women embrace her aura and become fiercer. Men embrace her aura and want a mate like her.
For much of Beyoncé’s career she’s been excruciatingly private. But with each album, she’s slowly peeled back the veil to reveal the “boss babe” we now know.
She carefully orchestrates news about her life – but we have seen her controversies.
The one incident that has forced her to “clap back” (i.e. JAY–Z’s infidelity) has done nothing but open the door to creative genius, record breaking sales and fabulously curated Instagram pics.
I love Beyoncé’s quiet resolve, but I’ve also wondered who else surrounds her when “life” happens. Besides Mrs. Tina, Solange and Kelly – does she have a squad to lean on?
I’m not talking about those “friends” in group pics at parties, weddings or award shows. I mean: A1/Day Ones. These are the friends you lunch with, your kids are best friends and you know each other’s secrets.
Be honest. We don’t see the random (or even curated) pic of Queen Bey’s squad at home, at a theme party or anywhere. It’s usually her and the family.
This is not shade. Don’t take it there. I’m just curious. Is Beyoncé’s whole life one big mic drop of “keep your head down and stay solo” knowledge?
And then The New York Times drops their in-depth interview with Beyoncé’s hubby. Towards the end, The Times’ Executive Editor Dean Baquet asks Hov, “Will this get harder over time?” and he implores JAY to talk about the next chapter of his life.
“The most beautiful things are not these objects,” JAY said. “The most beautiful things are inside. The most beautiful things are the friendships I have. I have really, like, golden friendships that most people don’t have.”
And it’s that last line that hit me twice: “Golden friendships that most people don’t have.”
Most people, like Beyoncé?
It’s crazy, because I wrote this article two days before JAY-Z’s interview premiered and then he drops this gem about the beauty of interpersonal relationships?
I heavily admire Beyoncé’s business acumen and she clearly works hard. She experiments without failure and no other current female artist in the industry can touch her. But from the outside, it seems like friendships were the ultimate sacrifice.
Beyoncé’s journey (or at least what I’ve seen online) often reminds me of this quote:
“Your elevation may require your isolation.”
I agree. In order to rise, you have to quiet the noise, move in silence, be consistent and stay positive. If you want success outside the regular 9 to 5, it takes laser focus to achieve your dreams.
Now, just in case I was reaching – I asked around: “Do you think Beyonce has friends?”
“No. She’s married to her work,” said one of my guys. He alluded to it being the curse of growing up in show business and even suggested Beyoncé wrote about it in one of her popular singles about perfection.
The ladies were different. One immediately asked, “Why are you beating up on (Beyoncé) today?” And then she eventually resolved that most people only have a small number of close friends.
That made me think about my own life and how much I agreed with my girlfriend. As you mature, you start to realize what matters and who impacts your life.
I recently talked to my dad about a failed relationship of my own and he said, “You can’t lose it if it’s important.”
On top of that, so many elders have told me, “You’re lucky if you can count your true friends on one hand.”
These words are all true… and, ultimately nothing to be ashamed about. But I still wonder if Queen Bey even has these friends to count. If she doesn’t, I wonder how she feels about it.
And if she does have these friends, maybe she’s doing what she does best: protecting what is sacred.
Kim Shine is a writer based in Chicago. She’s an award-winning producer and former news reporter who likes music and mimosas. Keep up with Kim on Instagram and Twitter @misskimshine.