It seems the world turned on its axis just a bit when Beyoncé revealed that she was pregnant last night at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. Very subtle at first, with a cup of her belly, it sent social media networks aflutter with the idea that King B was now becoming Mommy B. She capped it off with an even more grand gesture, proclaiming her performance was dedicated “to the life growing inside of her”, as well as an unbuttoning of her purple sequin Dolce & Gabbana tuxedo jacket to reveal a slight baby bump and when she rubbed her belly, the crowd roared with applause.
Not to be ignored was the cut to her husband, Shawn Carter and his obvious excitement, as well as the excitement of his good friend and mentee Kanye West. Both had literally jumped out of their seats and they looked totally elated: the amount of happiness we only see men output for sports games or when they’re out with their friends. Jay-Z is quite the man of mystery and until last night, I thought him to be Mr. Serious, but even when he performed, he moved around and laughed. I’d like to think it was because of the news that his wife was with child and that he at 41 years old was finally going to be a father.
In the hoopla of Beyoncé’s announcement, I think that his reaction was lost and even ignored. In a community where single mothers are the norm and black men are so notoriously pinned with the stigma of abandoning their children, it is really important to look at this positive image we have of not only a married couple, but a pregnancy that is wanted and that the to-be mother and father are thrilled for. With our generation, it seems that we sometimes forget that the creation of life is momentous and exciting, though scary. Of course, 95% of us are no Beyoncé or Jay-Z and do not have the resources available to us that they have, but that does not mean that being a good parent is something that is only available to the wealthy and famous. I loved seeing a black man happy for his pregnant wife and though that seems like a sight that should be pretty obvious, in the media today it is not. We’ve seemed to zap all the life (so to speak) out of making lives and the joy that can be associated with it. It’s sad that two celebrities who we couldn’t be farther removed from had to establish this positive vision, but I hope that we can keep the momentum going and spark some positivity in one another.
On top of that is the pretty obvious juxtaposition of this soft side that Jay-Z has when compared with the hard, rap persona that he still is known for, even with his latest album. Is this going to change his work and perhaps diminish the use of expletives, to make way for songs about his seed and the joys of parenthood? Only time will tell, but it’s a very interesting turn for as happy as we women are about Beyoncé, men are now faced with one of their music idols becoming a parent and truly taking a different turn in his life. I personally cannot wait to see how events unfold as the Carters start their brood.