Leave it to Beyoncé to address rumors in a way that is, at the same time, calculated and pointed, vague and prone to speculation, and, most of all, sassy. Proving that Queen Bey has her pulse on exactly how to swiftly grab the attention of today’s culture of web gossipers, both getting them talking and shutting them up at the same time, she did it all on Instagram.
On Wednesday morning, Beyoncé posted four photos in a row of her smiling and looking happy with her sister, Solange. The first was captioned, simply, “Good Morning.” The rest were posted captionless—as was a photo of Beyoncé at the Met Gala with Rihanna—for all of us to apply our own context to them. And we have.
It can’t be coincidence—as in, there’s no way it’s coincidence—that Beyoncé posted the series of pictures just 48 hours after video surfaced of Solange attacking her husband, Jay Z, in an elevator at a Met Gala after-party while she looked on. A torrent of unsubstantiated theories promptly popped all over the gossip sites and social media as to what caused the fight, including one that Solange was mad that Jay Z was ditching Beyoncé to go to another party with Rihanna.
Because Beyoncé appeared to be so passive during the video, standing in a corner and hardly intervening while her sister slapped, punched, and kicked her husband, the community of rampant anonymous speculators began wondering out loud if Beyoncé was on Jay’s side during whatever argument might have happened in the family.
That theory was bolstered after websites did some digging Tuesday and discovered that Solange had appeared to have deleted all photos of Beyoncé from her Instagram following the Met Gala, except for—inexplicably—one photo, on which commenters were promptly snide to point out, “You forgot to delete this one.” (Buzzfeed dug a little deeper and found more than just the one example of photos of Beyoncé that Solange “forgot” to delete.) Meanwhile, after the Met Ball Beyoncé posted a prayer on her own Instagram account about casting out “anyone who is not a good influence.”
Coincidence? You be the judge. Well, actually, the Internet already judged. And they ruled that these sisters must hate each other.
Now, no one expected Beysus to come to the altar (press conference podium) and deliver a sermon (statement) about what really happened that night, or to confirm whether or not she and Solange were on the outs after the incident. But the fact that she seems to slyly—or, rather, quite obviously—be sending a message to us all through her Instagram is an incredibly shrewd PR move. She’s managing to avoid acknowledging or giving legitimacy to the internet vultures feasting on rumors of trouble of the Knowles family, but also is shooting down the vultures completely.
She’s both going on record and not going on the record at the same time. It’s brilliant.
Posting four photos in a row looking happy with her sister? Surely that means that two are on good terms. (Though there is still room for the theory that the series of Instagram photos is Bey’s way of throwing epic amounts of shade at Solange for removing photos of her from her own Instagram. You’re taking down photos of me? I’m going to flood my account with photos of you.) And including the photo of herself with Rihanna is the cherry on top of a rumor-squashing sundae.
For almost three days, we’ve been wondering how or if Beyoncé would respond to this whole controversy. And, with this Instagram stunt, she seems to have perfected the art of crisis management. But of course she has. She’s perfect.