Beyoncé’s Pregnancy Announcement Was Wildly Tacky — & I’m Okay With That

Photo: Billy Farrell/BFA/REX/Shutterstock.
Yesterday, in the pregnancy announcement heard 'round the world, Beyoncé informed the public with a rather colourful Instagram post that she is having twins. Already, the image is the most-liked post on the platform. Then, just this morning, the expecting mother shared another round of belly photos on her web site. As R29's own Erin Donnelly pointed out, the singer is treating these babies like a surprise album release, and the internet is truly in a tizzy. Honestly, it feels like we're all pregnant with twins — I personally felt the need to call my mother when the announcement came out. Plenty of Twitter users claimed they broke down in tears. And it wasn't just pop culture obsessors weighing in. Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson wrote, "NO - YOU ARE CRYING BECAUSE BEYONCÉ IS HAVING TWINS." This excitement is all well and good. But it seems that no one, aside from a few brave souls on social media, wants to admit the truth: The pictures are tacky. Hear me out. Merriam-Webster defines "tacky" as "not having or exhibiting good taste." A few synonyms are kitschy, vulgar, garish, and gaudy. In the initial photo, Beyoncé wears a burgundy Agent Provocateur brassiere, a pair of silky blue briefs, and what looks like the mosquito net I draped over my childhood bed. (Sorry, whatever, it's a veil, right?) Our lady Bey — and truly in this photo she is presented as Our Lady — sits in front of a multicoloured wreath the size of an inner tube. As Anna Furman, writing in The Guardian noted, the photo draws from religious iconography, Latin American funerary traditions, and the rococo style. But let's not get too hoity-toity here: The photo is meant to be garish. Even Furman admits that the image is campy. More than a few Twitter users made the comparison to a JCPenny ad. (This is not a shot at JCPenny, which is a great retailer.) The Instagram is over-the-top — there are too many colours, the flowers look fake, the panties don't match the brassiere — and that is absolutely titillating.

It seems that no one, aside from a few brave souls on social media, wants to admit the truth: The pictures are tacky.

Because, you see, Beyoncé just took back tacky. To those of us who adore kitsch — who like to wear hot-pink lipstick, who aspire to embody the aesthetic of Lisa Frank, who write down inspirational quotes with glitter gel pens — this announcement was a statement of solidarity. Or rather, an invitation to reveal our glitter-covered macaroni-and-cheese selves. In the past, Bey has been a minimalist. She rarely posts on Instagram, she hardly gives interviews, and, most famously, does little to no publicity for her album releases. Minimalism was the name of the game, it seemed, until maximalism sat its freewheeling butt in the throne. This is the part where I admit to being tacky. I love tacky. I own a glittery plastic makeup bag that reads, "contents: magic!" It's from Claire's. The word "tacky" itself implies that there is such a thing as "good taste," and here at Refinery29, we don't really believe in taste. Everyone has their peccadilloes and we're not here to shame anybody for their likes and dislikes. (Now, can everyone get off my case about hating La La Land?) But the rest of the world doesn't necessarily share that view. My mother would love if I tossed my £5 Claire's bag for a trim, black alternative. I have a flaming-pink coat — with a bow, thankyouverymuch — that I haven't worn in years because an ex-boyfriend pretended to don shades whenever I wore it. The governing theory when it comes to style is "less is more." Coco Chanel allegedly advised, "Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off." Well, Beyoncé just looked in the mirror and said, "I think we need more flowers." More colours! More satin! Heck, more photos! She's not redefining taste — she's starting a fire from inside the house, burning the term to the ground. In a way, the photo is a statement of dominance and a testament to the Bey sway. Listen, it's an uncertain world out there. Our current president proudly displays an orange complexion. Beyoncé is expecting twins. And tomorrow, I'm wearing pink.

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