Just when we thought Beyonce couldn't do anything more to secure her title as the reigning Queen of Pop and all things excellent, she went ahead and made a documentary.
"Beyonce: Life Is But A Dream," an autobiographical, self-produced film starring, you guessed it, Beyonce, premiered on February 16th on HBO.
Of course there were elements of the ridiculous: Bey pensively holding a hairdryer on a Paris balcony, random prolonged shots of trees, pretty much no one speaking but Beyonce and the revelation that the singer has had a videographer filming her 24/7 for years. Still, we couldn't help but enjoy the glimpse into the pop star's -- and her 1-year-old daughter Blue Ivy's -- life.
Here are eight lessons we took away from Queen Bey's documentary:
1. Know when it's time to set boundaries.
At the beginning of the film, Beyonce opens up about making the tough decision to break professional ties with her father, Matthew Knowles in 2011. "I needed a break, I needed my dad," she says. "I had to let go." Although the move ultimately caused tension between her and her father, it's important to recognize when you need space from another person -- whether or not that person is a parent -- and ask for it.
2. Let other people see your vulnerabilities sometimes.
You might think, watching footage of then-pregnant Beyonce singing and dancing on stage in heels and sparkly, revealing leotard, that this woman has never had an insecure moment in her life. Not true, says Beyonce. At one point in the film, she reflects on coming to the realization that she needed to “stop pretending that I have it all together and if I’m scared, be scared." Letting those around you see your flaws and your doubts doesn't make you weak, it makes you human.
3. There's no therapy like being heard and understood by another woman.
The woman who thinks girls run the world also sees the value in close female friendship. “I love my husband, but it is nothing like a conversation with a woman that understands you. I grow so much from those conversations," she says. We tend to agree.
4. Women have a responsibility to look out for other women.
Because if we don't, who will? "It’s difficult being a woman. It’s so much pressure, and we need that support sometimes," Beyonce says. "We’re all going through our problems, but we all have the same insecurities and we all have the same abilities and we all need each other.” Somehow we doubt that we have the same abilities as Bey -- for example, we probably would not pull off a fringe crop top as well as she does -- but the sentiment remains true.
5. Women need to play an equal role in shaping our culture.
There's a reason that Beyonce sings about "Single Ladies" and being "Independent Women." It's a message she believes women need to hear. In the documentary, Bey delivers a pretty awesome pro-lady monologue. She says:
Women have to work much harder to make it in this world. It really pisses me off that women don’t get the same opportunities as men do, or money for that matter. Because lets face it, money gives men the power to run the show. It gives men the power to define our values and to define what’s sexy and what’s feminine and that’s bullshit. At the end of the day, it’s not about equal rights, it’s about how we think. We have to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves.
6. You really can learn a lot from your parents.
Beyonce says she's learned to appreciate the business chops she picked up from her father -- including the lesson that “business and being polite doesn’t mesh." She also says that her mother "taught me everything i know by example.”
7. Pick a life partner you can be goofy around.
One of the sweetest moments of "Life Is But A Dream" is old footage of Beyonce and Jay-Z singing Coldplay's "Yellow." It's candid and adorable, and their love for each other is clear. “It’s every woman’s dream to feel this way about someone," says Bey, talking about her relationship with Mr. Carter. A cheesy collective "awwwww" was really the only possible response here.
8. Don't be afraid to express your wants and needs.
One thing that came across strongly in the film was that Beyonce does not compromise when it comes to her career. If she has an opinion on how a show should be lit or staged, she won't hesitate to speak up. “I’m like most women -- very generous, and I’ll compromise," she says in the movie. "I used to be afraid of people thinking I was difficult or too critical, and you know, I dont really care about that anymore." Be your own advocate, no matter who thinks you're "difficult."