Ready to read an infamous magazine profile with a celebrity? This is the GQ interview with Beyoncé that had such a "what the FUCK?" impact that it prompted her to stop giving in-depth interviews completely. Yes, this is the interview that made Beyonce the media control freak that she is today.
Yet, when rereading it, I wondered whether it would be met with such a reaction today. The year 2013 was just a few years before the girl-boss empowerment movement took place.
Beyoncé's naked ambition, perfectionism, and drive for success were viewed as crazy back then. Would this interview have been met with admiration if it were released today?
by Amy Wallace
- The interviewer meets Beyoncé in a luxury office where she is sitting in front of her 16 Grammys, “each wall-mounted in its own Plexiglas box.”
- According to the interviewer, "the room in which you are sitting is rigged with a camera and microphone that is capturing not just her every utterance but yours as well."
- Then, we get to The Beyoncé Archive. What is The Beyoncé Archive?
"The official Beyoncé archive [is] a temperature-controlled digital-storage facility that contains virtually every existing photograph of her, starting with the very first frames taken of Destiny’s Child, the ’90s girl group she once fronted; every interview she’s ever done; every video of every show she’s ever performed; every diary entry she’s ever recorded.
This digital database... is a work in progress—the labeling, date-stamping, and cross-referencing has been under way for two years, and it’ll be several months before that process is complete."
- Beyoncé even hired her own videographer and team of photographers, videographers, and editors to film thousands of hours of her every move for up to 16 hours a day, every day since 2005.
- She decided to model "the Beyoncé archive" after the NBC collection at the Library of Congress.
- She feels that she deserves her zillionaire lifestyle, though. "I’ve worked harder than probably anyone I know, at least in the music industry. So I just have to remind myself that I deserve it."
- This... confidence? Arrogance? Delusion? was not helped by the description of her zealous work ethic: "When she’s on tour, every night she heads back to her hotel room with a DVD of the show she’s just performed. Before going to sleep, she watches that show, critiquing herself, her dancers, her cameramen. The next morning, everyone receives pages of notes."
- The self-grandeur and anal-retentiveness was not the only cause of her backlash.
Beyoncé was pushing the "curvy is beautiful" narrative, but readers mocked and criticised her for the ridiculous photoshop in these pictures
I mean, where are her thighs?
- Also: she chose to work with Terry Richardson for this shoot, even though he had been exposed for sexually abusing a young model.
- Her final quote: "I now know that, yes, I am powerful. I’m more powerful than my mind can even digest and understand."
How do you think Beyonce comes across?
Read past notorious interviews with Chris Evans, Jennifer Lopez, and Kate Winslet.