The Beyoncé Video Through the Eyes Of the Maid

Unless you are a turtle – or an 80 year old man pretending to be a turtle – chances are you are aware of the existence of Beyoncé’s new 7/11 video. Trust me: It’s somewhere on your timeline between Ferguson, Football and Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

Beyonce-Baby-BangsInitial reactions to the video were predictable and of course, favorable. I mean, it’s Beyoncé. She’s proven time and again that she can do no wrong. Hairdresser cut your bangs too short? No harm done. Let’s call them “baby bangs” and watch a trend burst forth from Fashion’s uterus! Can’t decide what to wear to the VMA’s, Bey? No worries! You can literally come dressed as the highest level on Candy Crush Saga and the world will laud you as one of the best dressed women in entertainment.

 

So when Queen Bey’s 7/11 video hit Vimeo, it was no surprise that almost everyone instantly loved it.

“It’s sooo different!”

“Look at Beyonce’s silly side!”

“Watch Bey act a fool. Never seen her this way before. #BowDown.”

All these people (yourself included) saw was fun, fun, fun and they adored it. But that’s not what *EYE* saw. All I saw was a mess. It was impossible for me to love this video.

We’ve talked before about how our experiences color our perceptions. Experience and access to foreknowledge is the prism through which we individually view the world. This is why I can see a 12 year old boy playing in the park alone with a BB gun and assume he’s playing cops and robbers with imaginary friends, and a frightened suburban dweller sees the same boy, calls 911 because he looks “suspicious” and the child ends up dead. Solitary Black boy playing = thug to some folk; Beyoncé playing at home = a nightmare to me, for you see I have been a maid.

You might recall the Real Housekeepers of Atlanta series I did a while back when I worked as a house cleaner for a few months. Since that time, I have never been able to look at my fellow human being quite the same. I have seen my fellow American’s dookie stains, dirty draws, and sexual accessories and I’m scarred. When the video first began to play, I like everyone else, was engrossed because we’re not accustomed to seeing Bey prance about in her or men’s underwear…and certainly not at home. Unlike most people however, I couldn’t enjoy the experience – this rare glimpse into Beyonce’s more human/less goddess-like side. All I could puzzle over was who gon’ clean up all these flowers when the cameras went off? Follow me as I put on my apron and lug my supplies to Bey’s Suite.

 

******

Ding dong!

A halfco girl opens the door clad in stripes and polka dots. Her feet are bare. I look at her hair and note that it is massive. That means one thing: shedding. I double check to make sure I have my Swiffer magnetic wipes.

“Oh! You’re here! Welcome. We just did a shoot. Thanks for cleaning up. You can start wherever you want,” the woman says congenially, handing me a Groupon code for 60% off all services. “I’ll just be hanging with Blue in Paris so we won’t be in your way.”

She disappears to catch a flight.

I’ve been trained to start cleaning the house from the back, so that’s just what I do. I start from the balcony, which is covered in human white-girl hair, napkins and the odd swivel chair or two. I sweep and put the furniture back in its place.

Next we go to the bathroom where there is yet more shedding. If I recall the video correctly, Beyonce was blowing drying her already dry hair. Then she was joined in the bathroom by 15 of her closest friends. One of them has been on her period. Gross! I mop and wipe up lipstick stains, pubic hair and…alcohol? Is that Hennessey on the granite counter tops?

Holy Christ in Heaven! There is liquor everywhere! It’s on the tile, in the carpet…how did it get on the walls? *Sigh*. Let me reach for my Fabuloso. Fabuloso can get this cranberry-vodka mix out of the berber.

Wait. What is up with her bedroom?? Why are there clothes all over the floor? Do I leave them? Do I fold them? Do I wash them??? And this heifer been jumping all OVER the sheets. Okay, okay. I’ll strip this super California King bed and just dry clean it all.

Oh no she didn’t. No she didn’t toss glitter and confetti IN THE HOUSE. What is wrong with this allegedly 33 year old woman? Does she know how impossible it is to get glitter out of anything? I—I just—ugh. Let me make sure I don’t have to run out into the car for some Scotch tape. Can’t believe I’m on my hands and knees Scotch taping glitter off of a grown woman’s floor. This is just too much to bear…

It’s my own fault. Who told me to go and clean houses for a living? Eh?

The final affront to my dignity comes when I have to walk back out to the elevator in order to leave the place I’ve spent 4 hours subduing post video tornado wreckage. There is a tiny white envelope with celebrity font handwriting scrawled on the front. It simply reads “To You”. I look around to inquire who this “You” may be. The imposing body guard who’s been left behind to make sure I didn’t make off with any of the Carter’s goods nods. Yes…you. I tear open the envelope excitedly and unfold a white slip of paper. Is it a tip? Wealthy people hardly ever tip. The best folks to clear for a mid-income earners. My mind is buzzing.

It’s not a tip.

“Hey You! There is a spot on the floor where I sat during the video repeating the words ‘fresher than youuuu….’. It’s a sweat stain. Smells like excellence, but I’d still like it mopped up if you’d mop it up. Thx! Bey.”

Sighing, I set down my cleaning bucket and reassemble the collapsible mop, mingling the scents of Beyonce’s butt sweat and Fabuloso in its fibers.

 

*******

What? I’m guessing there is no other person reading this who had similar thoughts after watching the video? Yeah, right.

 

  • This is very interesting.

  • This is an interesting take on this. I do believe in some level of cleanliness, especially when you are relying on others to clean up after you. However, far bigger messes have been made in other movies, tv shows, and music videos that someone else would have to clean up. (I wonder why you’ve focused on Beyonce. Do you believe she will influence others to create these sorts of messes in their own homes or in hotels?) At the end of the day it is a job. There are plenty of jobs out there that people do not enjoy, but it’s something we all have to do to make a living. For instance, in a previous job I performed a lot of experiments, which resulted in copious amounts of caustic waste. Trust me when I say I wanted nothing to do with the removal, disposal, or deactivation of the waste. Someone else had to deal with all of that, it was their occupation. I got paid for my part and they got paid for theirs. I viewed the music video as the product of a job that Beyonce got paid for. Someone one else will get paid to clean it up. If it were a domestic situation, maybe I would feel differently.

  • Hahahahaha omg I have to read this again. Brilliant. I love Bey tho :0x

  • Am I the only one who finds this hilarious? 😄 Gosh! I love the way your mind works Malaka. I feel so ordinary right now.

    • You, my dear, are FAR from ordinary. Ha!