Beyonce, Jay Z and the cynical hype machine

In case you missed it, Beyonce recently had twins. She and her husband Jay Z bestowed on their offspring typically offbeat celebrity names, Rumi and Sir.

Names that they announced in the traditional way of famous folk: via Instagram.

They confirmed the names in a perfectly polished, air-brushed, over-styled, micro-managed photo that ticks all the boxes of celebrity insanity.


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Mama posed perfectly, with slender body on show and not a bump, blemish or stretch mark in sight? Check!

Mama’s previously pregnant belly is shown looking as flat as a swimsuit model, despite the fact that her uterus is probably still swollen (they take 6 weeks to shrink back to size)? Check!

Mama is decked out in ludicrous garb (because a floor-length veil and a bikini is exactly what you feel like wearing four weeks after giving birth), with “natural” hair – the kind of style that takes two hours to achieve – and organically fresh makeup? Check!

And of course, saving the best for last: the babies are included in the photo as an after thought, placed in mum’s arms almost as a product, rather than being the sole focus on the image?

Check.

Sir Carter and Rumi 1 month today. ??❤️??????????

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Honestly – you have to go looking pretty hard to even find the babies! And why is she staring off coolly into the distance, rather than gazing at her precious new babes?

It’s pretty obvious that I’m not a fan of the photo, or of the over-hyped Beyonce and Jay Z machine. I just don’t get the obsession.

In fact when I first saw this photo of Beyonce and her new charges, my immediate thought was not about how amazing she looked (she did), or how sweet the babies are (they’re completely adorable). Instead, I thought: These babies are a highly marketable product.

This cynical thought was confirmed when I read reports that the couple has already trademarked ‘Sir Carter’ and ‘Rumi Carter’.

And it was confirmed again when I saw that Jay Z released his new album two weeks after the babies were born – his babies being the ultimate hype machine to drive interest in his career.

Others obviously don’t agree with me – the pic has been ‘liked’ almost 10 million times – but I can’t help but think everything these two do is highly manufactured and coordinated, to generate the maximum amount of interest and attention.

But maybe I’m just a big cynic? What did you think of Beyonce’s baby photo?