Beyonce Knowles During a Photo Shoot In Paris

When a child misbehaves we reprimand them with time outs, wrist pops or spankings. When a man messes up, you throw him a pillow to make a part time living situation on the couch. But when you piss off Beyoncé Knowles, you get BANNED from her world tour. According to The New York Post, Independent photographers will no longer have access to shoot her Mrs. Carter tour.

Beyoncé may run the world, but the diva is going to extremes to have some serious control over her internet personification. The decision was indubitably prompted by this year’s Super Bowl fiasco, after Buzzfeed published unflattering photos that propelled Beyoncé’s publicist to issue an emailed request for removal.

Instead of taking the pictures down or replacing them, the site reposted the images and the email with the headline: “The ‘Unflattering’ Photos Beyoncé’s Publicist Doesn’t Want You to See.” Visitors of Buzzfeed are familiar with the comedic and playful tone to the popular site, but Bey wasn’t laughing. This new decree is clearly a result of that fiasco.

This time around, Beyoncé isn’t taking any chances. Instead, news outlets are being given a link to a website that will feature pre-approved photos of Mrs. Carter taken by ONE photographer.

Oh, so did you think People Magazine‘s Most Beautiful Woman of 2012 was going to destroy her image for the sake of a second or third joke? Nope. And now photographers, the joke is on you.

If you don’t know by now, Beyoncé is the queen of silent attacks. Let’s reflect back to her Inauguration scandal where she kept quiet as the media continued to antagonize and lambast her for lip-synching. Gracefully approaching the stage during her televised press conference, she shut EVERYBODY down by magically belting out our “Star-Spangled Banner” so powerfully it sent shock waves throughout the nation. She even concluded her performance with “any questions?” which felt more like, “now what?!” It was an attack executed flawlessly and with such poise. Beyoncé may come off reserved and demure but understand this woman sees, observe and machinates a reaction.

Critics have issued statements of concern that this power ball decision will make the superstar come off as insecure, weak, jaded, a joke of a role model or simply ridiculous. And they’re entitled to their opinions. My confusion lies here: what type of role model is Beyoncé that makes this decision oh-so disappointing?

The Beyoncé we’ve come to know has constructed an entire empire based off of seeming perfection. She receives million dollar endorsements solely from her pristine beauty and body. I’m not sure how it feels to be labeled the most beautiful woman in the world, but in addition to her already gargantuan self- standards, one can only imagine the pressure she puts herself under. And her rule number one is never let them catch you slipping. And we can all agree that the one thing Beyoncé demonstrates in her career is to be a brand first, human second.

To be honest, I can’t pretend I’m not privately awaiting the day Beyoncé gets so sick of shielding herself from the world and projecting a perfect image that she sets off in mini rampages. It would be so cool to watch her get loose and I even want her to be semi-inspired by a reckless Rihanna tweet. Yes, I would love for Beyonce to break down her walls a little, but this form of action further shows, those walls are nowhere near being leveled. The day Beyoncé abandons her carefully-crafted brand isn’t going to be today (though “Bow Down” and her nipple costumes were a nice reprieve).

As an artist and indisputably one of the best entertainers of our time, the “Grown Woman” diva has simply never been a representation of what it means to be a self confident, flaws-and-all type of woman who owns who they are with abandon. Instead, her fans have come to appreciate her world for the ideal fantasy it provides.

Although someone may need to have a “Beyonce, you really are beautiful” intervention after this incident, her photography ban is confirmation that she too has hidden insecurities that not even Jay-Z can swoon her out of. You want her to be more human, right? This was the most normal approach I’ve seen her take yet. And I can relate. I don’t take too kind to unapproved facebook pics uploaded of me. Take away the power to un-tag and how many women would be orchestrating an online petition to permanently ban Facebook from ever seeing the light of day? I don’t see much of a difference here.

Critics and fans hold Beyonce to such high regard that perhaps we’ve made it difficult for her to simply laugh at herself. Maybe if we loosen up on our expectations of her, she wouldn’t be so hesitant to embrace trivial things like a silly, unflattering picture. So Beyoncé, girl, I don’t blame you. Keep assembling the best dance moves we’ve seen since Michael Jackson, keep your blonde tresses flowing and continue to maintain order in your kingdom of perfection.

-Nikki B.

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