Beyoncé came prepared for the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. While rubbing shoulders with the biggest names in music she had a secret weapon: snacks. Beyoncé attended the prestigious event with her daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, and husband, Jay-Z. During the event the family were snapped in the middle of a routine all too familiar for parents around the world who have taken their kids out for a special occasion. According to the strict laws of children: snacks must be eaten and juice boxes must be drunk – no matter what.
The way Beyoncé is sitting is a pose I’ve seen parents hold in playgrounds, at concerts or while riding on public transport. The stress of parenting melts away for a few minutes by seeing an icon like Beyoncé humbled by juice box.
We tend to get way too excited when we realise celebrities are people too, but it’s comforting. Cruising through Instagram you get perfect portraits of family life that sets unrealistic expectations for parents. Mentally, it can take a toll. You ask yourself, why can’t my kids smile for the camera while the sun sets over a beautiful ocean as rose petals fall around them?
Beyoncé is a master at setting glamourous expectations of what her life is like as a parent through her own Instagram account. But you have to remember her artistry is tied to her brand, and her social media presence maintains a carefully crafted image.
The same goes for Kim Kardashian, whose own social media presence is like a mini stock exchange where her value goes up and down based on how many likes her selfies get. But parents breathed a sigh of relief in 2015 when Kardashian’s daughter, North West, threw a tantrum in the front row at a show during New York Fashion Week. And it’s not a sigh in spite of Kim K, but one of empathy because we’ve all been there.
Parents spend a lot of time in isolation with their kids. When you take a moment to see what’s happening in the outside world, one glance at what another parent is doing better than you can cause anxiety. The stress multiplies when it’s a celebrity, but knowing they aren’t immune to the demands of snack time or tantrums offers a tiny bit of relief. Even the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, can’t escape a demanding toddler in the Oval Office.
These images shatter the mirage of the perfect parent and we feel a sense of solidarity instead. One of the best ways to survive being a parent is to acknowledge that you’ve got a better chance of finding a unicorn than achieving perfection. And the best allies are your fellow unicorn hunters, whether it be Beyoncé or parents you meet at the park trying their best under the regime of tiny snack-loving dictators. When you remove the glamour and Instagram filters, we’re all in this together.