Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde
Unless you’ve been living under a huge, celebrity-shaped rock, you’ll know that on Friday Beyoncé decided to share a picture of her newborn twins on Instagram. Speculation was mounting about when Bey and Jay-Z were going to announce that they’d welcomed their bundles of joy after Beyoncé’s dad dropped a less-than-subtle tweet about his grandkids’ birth back in June.
So when she decided to share their first picture, and officially confirm their names are Sir Carter and Rumi, the Beyhive went into overdrive and the post, which has only been up for three days, has already garnered almost 10 million likes.
But in all our excitement to glimpse at the world’s most famous celebrity baby twins (sorry, Alexander and Ella Clooney) we initially missed the significant details intricately weaved into Bey and Jay-Z’s announcement.
Why did they choose to name the latest members of the Knowles-Carter clan Sir and Rumi? Does the way she’s standing mean something? How comes that flowery backdrop is making a comeback? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Luckily, we’re here to pick it all apart and guide you through the whole thing.
What does Beyoncé’s pose mean?
In the latest picture, Queen Bey is crowned by flowers and wears a veil, and the most obvious connection is a religious one – if you consider how she is tilting her head, and effortlessly holding the two babies, it’s not dissimilar from how the Virgin Mary is depicted in paintings and sculptures. Considering that in her pregnancy announcement picture she was also surrounded by flowers and veiled, it has been suggested that this long-standing motif is Bey’s way to challenge the idea of whiteness and purity.
Katie Edwards, the director of SIIBS at the University of Sheffield, wrote: ‘Beyoncé’s re-appropriation of Virgin Mary iconography offers a biting critique of this supreme exemplar of feminine whiteness and the ideology that constructs and perpetuates it.
‘At a moment when white supremacy is echoed in the “America first” slogan of President Trump, Beyoncé simultaneously dislodges “white” from its central place in religious iconography and Trump from his recent monopoly of press headlines.’
Furthermore, the fact that Bey and her billowing outfit appears to form a pyramid shape could be seen as a nod to herself as a giver of life, matriarch and the subject – another common composition in classic religious paintings.
Once again, her outfit consists of a merging of blues and pinks – as with her announcement photo – which has generally been construed as a nod to the twins’ sexes.
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While the pregnancy announcement photo also shows Bey at a floral alter, it’s against a the blue sky backdrop. In the arrival photo, she is actually on location with real blue skies and – more importantly – water, the biblical symbol for cleansing and a simile for the knowledge of God. The element is also regarded as a symbol for life, love and change.
So there you have it – Bey’s picture was so much more than just another baby arrival announcement, and it was definitely not slapdash.
Proof, once again, that she is Queen.