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Transcript of Beyonce
The Church of Beysus Christ
The National Church of Bey, based on Beyism or the religion that worships Beyonce Knowles, completely shows how crazy the fans are about Beyonce. Michael Arceneaux states that, "Faithful supporters can latch onto their favorite celebrities in the oddest ways, worshipping them as divinities rather than as human beings" (35). The religion was created by a group of 12 friends in Atlanta, including Minister Diva Pauline John Andrews. They regularly gather each Sunday to sing Beyonce’s songs. The church has published its own version of the Bible, known as the Beyble, which will soon be available free to the public. Praise the Lord of Pop!
In Beysus name we pray, AMEN!
Who Runs The World? Beyonce
According to Time Magazine, Beyonce is considered to be one of the most influential people of 2014. On the other hand, if it wasn't for her devoted fans (more specifically her gay fan base), she would not be as popular as she is today.
Gay bumblebees and their fan videos
Beyonce's popularity is largely due to convergence culture. Fan videos tend to travel through multiple media platforms in order to reach a mass audience. The gay fan subculture within the BeyHive are the best at using convergence to their advantage. For instance, there may be a viral video circulating around the internet about a gay guy who dances to "Single Ladies." This video had to go through many circuits just to be popular. It went from being recorded in a room to being uploaded on a Youtube channel. Then that video gets shared on Facebook. Sooner or later, someone tweets it on Twitter or posts it on their Tumblr page. Julie Russo believes that, "The resulting ease of posting, finding, watching, and sharing videos, along with the incorporation of Webcams and basic editing tools like Windows Movie Maker into standard computer bundles, have facilitated an eruption of user-generated media" (125). Members of the BeyHive take the time to make sure that their love for Beyonce is expressed entirely within the media.
Yaaaaaaaaas!!! Ya'll better WERK!!!
The bees are swarming in merchandise!
The BeyHive loves to wear outfits from Beyonce's store, or create fan shirts of their own. They use visual rhetoric to its fullest extent in order to persuade a massive audience that they should join the Beyhive above any other group. Beyonce's merchandise quickly establishes a connection between a promoter (the fans) and the audience. Additionally, these outfits help the fans feel like they're a part of a group, a family. Charles Soukup asserts that, "Because humans are inherently separated from one another (i.e., ‘‘division’’), only through rhetoric can we experience unity or identification" (321).
In the past, fan sites had barely any relationship with the media. If you wanted to hear Beyonce's new song, you had to go to a certain medium. If there was a music video or fan video, you were forced to click somewhere else. Now there is a connection between writing and media. These fan sites are the perfect example of a convergence of modes. The gay fan subculture within the BeyHive combines writing, videos and music all at once to create a safe place for fans to display their obsession for Queen Bey. The majority of fan content created on the internet is by gay men. Beyonce's popularity is largely due to the contributions of her gay fan base.
Why does the BeyHive interests me?
The reason why this topic interests me is because I am one of Beyonce's greatest fans! More specifically, one of her gay fans. I know more than anybody how much gay culture worships Beyonce on a daily basis. Our community recognizes Beyonce more than any other star. Charlotte Backer explains that, "The more people recognize an individual, the more fame can be attributed to that person and the bigger star that individual becomes" (145). I am interested to see how gay fans represent themselves visually, in comparison to her straight fans.
GURRRRRRRRRL tell me! Who is Beyonce?
Beyonce is considered to be one of the most widely recognized women in popular culture. Her rise to fame began once she started the group, Destiny's Child. After many years of singing together, the group broke up and Beyonce became a solo artist. The rest is history. From performing at the Super Bowl to singing at the White House for President Obama, she has shown that her time in the spotlight is far from being over. ZZ Packer says, "Whether your assessment of Beyoncé is that she's a pop princess, hip-hop diva, a conspiracy theorist's latest incarnation of the Illuminati, a feminist icon, an overexposed celebrity, or just another working mother, one thing is for certain: we are now -- for better or worse, for good or ill, or all the malaise in between -- living in the Age of Beyoncé" (1).
OH MY GAWD! I love you Beyonce!!!
Serving Beyonce Realness!
There are a vast array of ways in which the gay fan subculture separate themselves from the rest of the BeyHive. One of the biggest examples of this is through drag. I have seen many drag shows while dancing at the bars in Midtown. Additionally,I attend the drag show every semester at Georgia State University in the Rialto. It's rare to leave a show without witnessing one of the drag queens lip syncing to a Beyonce song. Some gay men dress just like her and even have her same hair. Andres Zervigon says, "The drag of high camp, by contrast, takes a far more serious approach. This type of performance tends to idealize rather than criticize, offering the impersonation as an authentic expression delivered anew to an adoring audience" (2). Beyonce's gay fans do not only see her as a inspiration, but as the perfect model for the drag queen they always wished to be.
Representation at Concerts
When Beyonce comes to town, gay men are quick to line up at her concerts. Most of her audience is composed of either straight women or gay men. Beyonce's gay fans go absolutely crazy at her performances. The thought that they could be a few feet from their greatest idol is enough of a reason to show up. Paul Hollander argues that, "A bizarre expression of the popular veneration of celebrities is revealed in the apparently widespread desire to be close to them physically—to touch them, or share the same space
with them and be able to observe them from close quarters" (150). Below is a video that has gone viral. It shows a guy fainting after Beyonce hugs him. By touching him, the fan is completely overwhelmed.
Our society is obsessed with celebrity culture. In today's time, most of our news is composed of celebrity gossip. We are socially constructed to believe that celebrities have all the power within our society. On the other hand, without the presence of fan culture, celebrities like Beyonce would struggle to remain relevant in our lives. What I've learned from this is that in order to analyze the worshipping of Beyonce in our country, we must first analyze the fans who made her who she is today. Fans and celebrities go hand in hand in popular culture. The BeyHive is a powerful group that never loses energy. But the gay fan subculture inside of this alliance promotes Beyonce on a higher level than her straight fans ever could. Their immense love and obsession for Queen Bey is the reason behind her popularity today.