On Feb. 1, Beyoncé broke the internet when she announced she was pregnant with twins on her Instagram account.
Her post generated more than 9 million likes on Instagram and roughly 500,000 tweets related to her pregnancy in fewer than 45 minutes. Beyoncé, now the Guinness World Record holder for most likes on Instagram, proved herself a much-needed distraction from politics.
While the Beyhive rejoiced upon seeing the announcement, other internet users asked, “Why is this news?” “Aren’t there more important things to be reported?” and “Who cares?
To an extent, I understand the haters’ thought processes, for it is strange for major news outlets to be reporting on celebrities rather than on domestic and international news. However, the critics need to realize and accept that entertainment news is valuable, especially to young people.
I credit my interest in current events as a child to E! News, People Magazine and Us Weekly magazine. Maybe it was because I couldn’t enter a grocery checkout line without seeing tabloids or because of my early interest in trashy reality TV shows, but despite the reason, I was addicted.
Hearing and reading about the latest celebrity gossip and developments in music, TV and film gave my 10-year-old self something exciting to follow. Entertainment was my escape from the plights of childhood.
Around the time I entered my sophomore year of high school, I realized that entertainment news was often superficial. My resistance to pop culture led me to “grown up” news, and, suddenly, I wanted to not only be able to hold intelligent conversation but also be aware of issues that mattered, specifically social justice issues. This was the beginning of my discovery of my beliefs and values.
Sadly, it did not take long for me to realize that becoming socially aware or “staying woke” is emotionally draining. Learning the problematic facts and traditions regarding race and gender in our society and how slow our ideas on these topics are progressing was – and is still – discouraging.
However, I always knew that when the world’s problems overwhelmed me, I could return to entertainment news because it remained easy to understand and, for the most part, not upsetting.
I cannot say the same thing about political news, though, I wish that I could. I know that “real news” is not supposed to be comforting. “Real news” is supposed to offer the facts regardless of the audience’s reaction.
And while I absolutely agree with that, I find it troubling that those against celebrity news insist on being bombarded with politics. Donald Trump has not even been in office for a month yet but has been the topic of conversation every single day due to his discriminatory executive orders.
If he is not signing an executive order, he is having a party with the white supremacists and Uncle Toms in his Cabinet. If he stops talking and tweeting for once, he is allowing his adviser Kellyanne Conway to publicize “alternative facts.” If he is living and breathing, it is a safe bet he is being protested not only by American citizen but by other world leaders.
The amount of people that Trump has managed to piss off in a matter of three weeks is concerning. I am slightly encouraged by the active resistance against him, but the fact that there is a new problem every day thanks to this man.
And while I am glad that I am aware that our country’s value of equality is being constantly challenged, I do not want to read about it 24/7. Reading nothing but bad news is detrimental to mental health.
And no, that is not just another liberal snowflake quirk. Psychologists have linked constant exposure to negative news can lead to depression, PTSD and anxiety.
Or, if you are like me, you have become desensitized because bad news has been normalized and expected. But we cannot allow for desensitization to be our default emotion. Because when we stop caring, that is when the oppressor wins.
It is my belief that when you allow yourself to take a break from the “hard news,” you are practicing much-needed self-care. You are allowing yourself to re-energize until you are ready to rejoin the resistance, and that should considered just as important as being politically and socially aware.
So, thank you, Beyoncé, for not only sharing an important part of your life with the rest of us but also for giving us something to celebrate, which is seemingly hard to come by these days.
I hate to break it to those opposed to entertainment news, but Beyoncé and every other celebrity is just as relevant as any other political leader. Thankfully, it is becoming more and more common for entertainers to share their political stances, proving that there is more to entertainment news than discussing who is dating whom, celebrity feuds and red carpet choices. Because of celebrity activism, people who shy away from politics are now being forced to have a stance on controversial issues.
And while there are subjectively more important things than Beyonce’s pregnancy that could be reported, that does not make Beyonce’s news any less deserving of being celebrated and publicized.