Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Don't Call Me Beyoncé

Well actually, you could call me Beyoncé. I'd be okay with that. But that's not the point here.

I was bopping around the internet the other day, as I often do, when I saw this picture:
Normally, I'm not one to criticize where people get their motivation from, but this just made me mad.

Sure, everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. And Beyoncé IS a good role model. She's smart, she's talented, she has a great husband and a beautiful daughter, she hangs out with the President. Really, she's got it all. I'm a fan, you're a fan, everyone's a fan.

But I just can't get down with this kind of motivation. First of all, because I don't think semi-shaming people into doing more is the right path to take. Yeah, we all have the same hours, but you don't know what's going on in my life. Sorry I didn't have time to record an album + seventeen videos this week? My bad.

This picture leaves out all the resources she has that you and I could never dream of having. First and foremost, she has essentially unlimited funding. If she wants to pursue a new venture or interest she can, without worry. If her album doesn't do well (LOLZ not likely), she'll be fine. She'll be bummed, but ultimately, it wouldn't change her day-to-day. If you spent a year working on a huge project at work only to have it flop, you'd be incredibly disappointed, and you'd probably get in trouble with your boss. You might even get fired. She has room to experiment with things she's unsure about because she knows she has a soft place to land if those things aren't successful. You and I don't have that luxury.

After Blue Ivy was born, she took a year-ish off to spend time with her. With the maternity leave laws (or lack thereof) that we have here, a woman is lucky to get six weeks off. Our girl Bey can take as long as she wants. And while she's traveling all over the world this year for her Mrs Carter World Tour? You know Blue is going to be right there with her. She doesn't have to leave her at home when she travels for her job. Blue Ivy is going to have more stamps on her passport by her 10th birthday than most people get their entire lives. (That's mostly irrelevant, but man, it's cool.)

She also has a team of approx. 903809128 around her at any given time.

She doesn't have to waste time doing housework. You can say that you bet she's so real and does her own laundry, but you are kidding yourself and we both know it. No disrespect here, because if my net worth was 30 million bucks, I would have someone on staff whose only job was to iron my underoos, sort them by color, and hang them up in my underwear closet. (Yeah, I have an underwear closet in my mega-rich fantasy.) And if you think her hands have touched a Lysol-soaked sponge anytime in the last five years, you are wrong. My life would be a lot more interesting too if I didn't have to spend a quarter of it vacuuming and washing and sanitizing various things in my home.

Of course, I don't say any of this because I dislike Beyoncé. I really do like her. But I wonder if this kind of motivation is more harmful than helpful. You can channel Beyoncé all you want. But don't compare your life to someone's that you only know through Instagram, whose net worth is in the millions, who has the time and the resources to do whatever she wants, whenever she wants.

This continued conversation of "am I doing enough?" is stupid and unfair and not real. Enough according to who? You and Beyonce don't have the same life. You and I don't even have the same life. Comparing yourself to anyone else, whether it's your favorite singer or your favorite coworker, isn't going to accomplish anything.

So don't channel your best Beyoncé.  Channel your best you.

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Leslie said...

Um. YES. I saw this picture the other day and I didn't find it motivational at. all. I just found it obnoxious.

Brit DeLong said...

Alyssa, this is really great. I love your last line especially of the post especially.

I TOTALLY TOTALLY relate to this and was actually just talking about this to my parents today about how I'm not as far as I wish I could be/accomplished as I wish I could be/as organized, professional, put together (insert similar adjectives here) as I wish I could be. And then I started comparing myself to everyone else my age who are doing so much more than I am, or so I perceive.

But it's not about competing with others or doing more than them. You're a really great writer by the way. And I always like getting your take on things!

Jessa @ Life of A Sports Wife said...

best part of this is that you can underwear, underroos.. I call them the same thing & my husband asks if I am 5. (yes, i am.)

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

"Beyonce" well I know who she is but that is about all do not compare me to her because my life is nothing like hers mine is so full and runs at a hectic pace as it is I have trouble keeping up.

Duh! Danae said...

I love this. All of it!

Jazz Mancia said...

Uhm, as you know, I love everything about you and everything you say, and as you may not know, I ~don't love Beyoncé. (Not a big deal. Her music just doesn't interest me. Whatever.) All of that notwithstanding, this is my favorite thing you've ever written ever. Love you girl!

Anonymous said...

I cannot agree any more with this! So true! P.s As an old reader of your Tumblr- I am so glad I found your blog :) Hope you had a great weekend!


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