There’s this wise old saying that goes: “We all have the same 24 hours a day as Beyoncé.” It’s meant to inspire us to be as productive as the Queen B herself. But I’m sure the question on everyone’s mind is, how does she do it? Well, this documentary gives us a peek. And spoiler: She’s not a deity. Hard work, sweat, tears—yup, even Beyoncé has to go through all of them. The singer, artist, all-around performer, executive producer, and mother is a known perfectionist, after all.
Before everything else, let’s get this out of the way: Yes, you should watch Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé. I mean, if you got goosebumps while watching her Coachella performance on YouTube, then trust us, this film has double the feels. Beyoncé has always been a powerful performer—dare I say the best. And in this particular performance, you can expect twice that energy, as she shares that it comes from more than just wanting to entertain and give the people more than their money’s worth.
As the first Black woman to ever headline Coachella since 1999, she admits, she wants everyone who’s ever felt marginalized to feel represented on that stage. A true icon of the Black community, best believe she used her time up on stage to empower her people. “When I decided to do Coachella, instead of me pulling out my flower crown, it was more important that I brought our culture to Coachella,” she said through a voiceover, the kind of narration present throughout the film.
If you’re wondering where she got the concept of the performance—the marching band, the sorority theme—she reveals in the film that her inspiration is actually her unfulfilled dream to go to a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)—something she never got to do because of her early success. “My college was Destiny’s Child,” she said. While it’s true that to most of us, that sounds like a hella good college TBH, Beyoncé was candid in admitting her early success came at the price of letting go of that dream. And throughout her career, that wasn’t the only thing she had to sacrifice to attain the kind of success she has now.
Bey was originally slated to headline Coachella in 2017. That didn’t push through because of her unexpected pregnancy with her twins, Rumi and Sir. And though she didn’t go into too much detail, she did give us an intimate peek of her pregnancy. “My body went through more than I knew it could. I was 218 pounds the day I gave birth,” she revealed. “I had an extremely difficult pregnancy. I had high blood pressure, toxemia, preeclampsia, and, in the womb, one of my babies’ heartbeats paused a few times, so I had to get an emergency C-section.”
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At 36, I became a new mother of 3. I breastfed twins. I renewed my vows with my husband of ten years. I came back home to the stage to do Coachella, after pregnancy. Then my husband and I released our album together, Everything Is Love. And we’ve been touring with our family around the world, and loving it. This year has been monumental for me. I thank God for everyone in my life. Thank you for all the positivity and for the beautiful birthday wishes. I’m looking forward to continuing to learn from my past, living in the present, and surrendering to the future. I love you, Hive. B
The struggle didn’t end after the childbirth. Post-pregnancy, she immediately had to prepare for her performance. And as effortless as she made it look on-stage, the film delves deep into the many challenges she had to overcome—especially as a mother trying to stay on top of her game. “Physically, it was a lot to juggle. It’s like, before, I could rehearse 15 hours straight. [Now,] I have children, I have a husband, I have to take care of my body,” she said. She also got candid about living up to the pressure of what is expected from her. “Just trying to figure out how to balance being a mother of a six-year-old and of twins that need me, and giving myself creativity, and physically, there’s a lot to juggle.” She shares, “I would dance and go off to the trailer and breastfeed the babies, the days I could, I would bring the children.”
And beyond just the physical aspect of it, she revealed the childbirth affected her mindset too. “My mind was not there. My mind wanted to be with my children. What people don’t see is the sacrifice.” Most people would see Beyoncé, and think about her swag; her seemingly effortless assurance of herself. But in the film, she admitted there were days she wasn’t feeling like that at all. “You know, a lot of the choreography is about feeling, so it’s not as technical; it’s your own personality that brings it to life. That’s hard when you don’t feel like yourself.”
But just because she was struggling, and making it clear that her family is her priority, doesn’t mean her work ethic was compromised. “I respect things that take work. I respect things that are built from the ground up. I’m super specific about every detail, every tiny detail had intention.” In this documentary, we see Beyoncé not only as the performer. She’s a creator in every sense of the word. The footage offers a look at her overseeing the music, dance rehearsals, and just generally getting actively involved in the whole production of it. What can we say? The woman’s a genius. That performance–and this film, which she directed, and produced, are proof of that.
Even though she admits at one point in the film that “I will never push myself that far again,” we think if there’s anyone who can prove Beyoncé wrong—it is Beyoncé herself.
Photo courtesy of Beyonce’s Instagram account
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