Beyoncé’s “7/11” Video: Carefree or Carefully Marketed?

Queen B is having a party, and we’re all invited—at least, that’s what she wants us to believe. In her latest music video for 7/11, one of two tracks being released on her upcoming “Beyoncé Platinum” box set, the singer reminds us, and her pop competitors, just how flawless she is—and always will be—with an impromptu, underwear-clad dance party in a hotel suite.

The new video features Yoncé traipsing around with her crew in various stages of goofing off, from human pyramids to foot telephones and everything in between. In a rather apparent departure from her previous music videos, the video features the pop star wearing decidedly non-couture apparel, such as a sweatshirt emblazoned with simply the word “Kale,” while having a ball making a fool of herself with her bevy of background dancers.

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Image courtesy of Pinterest

The pop icon dances with some laughably literal moves, spinning at high speed as she sings “I’m spinning, I’m spinning,” careens down the hall of her hotel with red solo cups while warning us never to “drop that alcohol,” twerks it out with her girls while getting ready in the bathroom, and—of course—sits atop her throne. She makes it all look effortlessly fun, and we want to be her friend.

In filming a video that appears unedited and amateur, with minimal highly stylized elements typical of her genre, Beyoncé’s surface openness is more a nod to her savvy as a businesswoman than to her innate likeability. While it may seem that she simply spent an afternoon in her hotel room having fun with her friends, the strategy is clear, and highly efficient: she simultaneously makes herself relatable and accessible to her fans, while solidifying her status as the foremost pop star in the music industry.

The video sends a strong and intentional message to her competitors: sure, spend millions producing your music video—I’ll just dance around in my underwear, and it will still be better.

Beyoncé turns the game upside down by filming a seemingly raw, candid and refreshingly funny video that only serves to up her public image more. If her fans sought a glimpse into the inner psyche of their idol, however, they may have to wait: while the video is certainly a hilarious snippet of her letting her guard down, it is also a very carefully crafted one.

Make no mistake, Bey knows what she’s doing—and she does it well. While the video makes her appear just like us, the fact remains that she’s dancing in a massive hotel suite, with a gorgeous balcony view, equipped with countertops full of every makeup imaginable. Essentially, she reminds us all that she is, as her song states, “fresher than you.”

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Megan Fickes