On Friday, Beyoncé appeared on “20/20” for a one-on-one interview with Katie Couric to promote her latest concert DVD, “Live at Roseland: Elements of 4,” which she directed and edited. She also dished, of course, on her much discussed baby bump, a topic that took up almost the entire interview.
To her credit, Beyoncé wasn’t defensive about the fuss over her belly, including fevered speculation as to how pregnant she is, or if she is at all. With all the chatter around her pregnancy, you would think Bey invented motherhood the way Trey Songz invented sex.
She reacted to the massive hubbub with the equivalent of a verbal shrug. “There are certain things that are so far (out)… it doesn’t even upset you,” the singer told Couric.
Bey did admit that her mother Tina Knowles and sister Solange haven’t been so understanding about the gossip. “My mom is like, ‘Nobody’s talking about my grandbaby! My grandbaby’s not ever here yet!” the singer said. “I was like, ‘Calm down, mom! It’s okay!’ My mom and sister are so protective.”
You’ve surely seen and heard and read the near-constant stories about Bey and her bump (and the nitpicking of her wardrobe of tight dresses and towering heels) since August when she announced her pregnancy at the MTV Awards. Back in October, writer Francie Latour was already fed up with Bey baby talk. She penned “Beyoncé’s Incredible, Miraculous Pregnancy” for The Root at the peak of the frenzy, just after Beyoncé appeared on Australian TV and her belly seemed to awkwardly shift — or deflate, as some put it.
“I may have to draw the line at the continuous, wall-to-wall blitz that has become Beyoncé’s pregnancy,” Latour wrote. “It may be the perfect symbol of married black love — which many a culture critic has said that we desperately need to see — writ large. It may be the ultimate marketing machine, swathed in couture as befits hip-hop royalty. But the mania surrounding this biological event has gotten way out of hand.”
She added, “I’m happy for you, Bey, but the joy growing inside your womb is not the blueprint, and it is not biblical. It isn’t the Visitation; nor is it the dawn of a new epoch in the human calendar. It’s a baby.”
Despite Latour’s plea for restraint — not from Bey, but from fans/stans — and Bey’s seeming indifference, the rumor mill goes on. It was even reignited during the “20/20” broadcast when the superstar appeared obviously pregnant. When Couric greeted Beyoncé by touching her stomach, Bey seemed (understandably) unnerved, and adjusted her hand.
Some Essence.com readers called foul on Bey’s reaction. “I don’t mean to open up a can of worms, but the woman panicked when Katie Couric touched her belly,” one of you wrote. “I believe they are having a baby, but who knows who is really carrying it.”
The fascination with the Bey-Bump continues with no reprieve in sight. (Beyoncé declined to tell Couric the due date.)
Demetria L. Lucas is the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk