Beyoncé by Tony Duran For Flaunt Magazine July 2013.
Icon status is an elusive, wild beast.
See, no matter how many times you don a black bodysuit and the bedazzled gloves you lovingly hand-stitched to reenact the by now ubiquitous wedding dance floor song “Single Ladies”—pause for a minute to appreciate how many 11-year-old girls have done that in the last four years—you’ll never be as good as Beyoncé.
And that’s what’s to love about the great Queen Bey. She’s a machine. She’s untouchable. And she makes us feel fierce, by proximity.
Beyoncé’s Midas touch is something she’s well aware of, and she’s advanced it strategically, indulging and delighting her vehemently devoted fans while embracing what spectacle—a staple of her performances—affords her: “the license to live vicariously, to visualize, to fantasize. To be bigger than yourself, bigger than life.”
Over the course of her career, she’s sculpted, coiffed, and polished her image to build a persona so globally recognizable, so singularly powerful, that it’s departed from being anything remotely attainable to become something revered and ethereal. And perfect—which is what she says she strives for.
Even on Instagram, so named for its spontaneity, Beyoncé presents a clean, curated image that evenly projects each facet of her persona: In one photo, she bares her enviable midriff, further solidifying the organic sex appeal that gave life to the Oxford-approved term bootylicious; in another, she posts handwritten thank-you notes to her fans for their support in her philanthropic efforts. And lest you start to feel too distanced from her, there are reminders that she can be ghetto fab like the rest of us: a late night snack of Aiki noodles with Tabasco sauce, photographed on what looks like a fold-out card table. (And its intended effect is achieved: If you actually doubt that @Beyoncé could/would eat a cup of noodles, you ain’t as real of a fan as you think. #teamhood #teamdirtysouth #teamquickmeals wrote one fan.)
It’s that appearance of flawlessness that’s kept her fans—who give new meaning to the term “fanatical” by readily adopting their status as worker bees—patiently anticipating an album that was expected in April. They wait because they know it’s worth it. They wait because she is their Queen Bey. While she drafts new hooks and melodies, they’ll hold their arms in the air, practicing: palm, knuckles, palm, knuckles.
Read the rest of the interview here.