Diva status is earned, not given

At this year’s On The Run Tour, featuring Jay-Z and his superstar wife Beyonce, “Don’t worry, be Yonce” was a popular shirt of concert-goers. “Queen B” is worshipped by women and men alike for her killer dance moves, amazing vocal talent and her self-confident attitude and aura. You’d be pretty hard-pressed to find someone who says they wouldn’t want to be Beyonce.

In fact, she knows you want to be her. In her song, “***Flawless,” off of her latest album, “Beyonce,” she sings, “I know when you were little girls/ you dreamt of being in my world/ don’t forget it don’t forget it/ respect that, bow down b*tches.”

These lyrics reflect the alpha, diva quality we love and expect from Beyonce. When listening to songs like “***Flawless,” it’s easy to feel the same empowerment and confidence Beyonce preaches, but just like wearing denim on denim, just because Beyonce does it, doesn’t necessarily mean you can too.

There’s a difference between being a strong woman and being a total diva. Beyonce balances the brash bravado of “***Flawless” with a feminist speech by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in the middle of the song, which adds merit to her “I’m so crown” attitude. If you tried to emulate Beyonce by telling others to “bow down,” you would be chided rather than celebrated.

Recently, Ariana Grande has been getting flak for her diva antics, such as being rude to fans, demanding to see each frame of her photo shoots and refusing to allow the right side of her face to be photographed. This behavior has elicited Grande a lot of negative press, and even furthered comparisons to the original diva, Mariah Carey. (Don’t think of comparing Grande to Carey in an interview, though; that is “off limits.”)

Grande comes off as a prima donna, while Beyonce comes off as self-assured and, yes, even flawless. While it’s OK to have high standards, make sure they’re backed up with some substance.

Beyonce has worked hard in the industry for many years to build up to her status as a deity of music. We permit Beyonce’s diva behavior because her talent and admirable actions for all the years she’s been in the public eye speak for themselves. Similar to us college students, Ariana Grande has a lot of talent and potential, but has a way to get to superstar status. She has not done enough with her life yet to act like the egomaniac diva she is.

So while you may be doing great things now, or think that you deserve great things to happen to you, wait a little bit to act like a full-blown diva. Perhaps this generation’s guideline of being “less of a Marilyn and more of a Jackie” is “always be Yonce, never a Grande.”

Kelly Brody is a sophomore majoring in journalism.


Featured photo courtesy José Goulão from Lisbon, Portuga via Wikimedia Commons.