Pregnant Beyonce photo mesmerises America

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Less than two weeks into Donald Trump’s presidency, it seemed the only news from here on out would be political.

The new president and his flurry of executive orders and swift-moving, substantive changes to US policy and procedure seemed to leave little oxygen for any other headlines.

But even President Trump lacks the star power of Queen Bee.

Prior to the inauguration, some fans joked that Beyonce should drop an album as Trump was being sworn in, and in doing so steal the spotlight from the new commander in chief.

Beyonce did one better: she announced, via a resplendent photo on Instagram, that she would be dropping something else – two something elses, in fact.

This Aug 24, 2014 file photo shows Beyonce on stage with Jay Z and their daughter Blue Ivy as she accepts the Video Vanguard Award at the MTV Video Music Awards in Inglewood, Calif.Image copyrightAP

That’s right – Beyonce is having twins.

“I literally tripped and fell at a formal Fulbright dinner because I found out Beyonce was pregnant with twins,” wrote one woman on Twitter.

Other social media users were less articulate, relying on gifs and emojis to showcase their elation.

The photo showed Beyonce kneeling in front of a giant hedge of roses, wearing blue satin knickers and a maroon bra. She is covered with a long green veil, and is already heavily pregnant.

“This pic is a powerful statement on bodies, maternity & the sacred. Beyonce continues to push us to reimagine womanhood. A feminist icon,” gushed writer Laura Rankin.

TweetImage copyrightTWITTER

It’s fitting that Beyonce used Instagram to relay her news.

Twitter has become an all-out war zone between alt-right egg accounts and the professional left.

Facebook is full of posts from friends and relatives begging people to call their Senators, sign a petition, or attend the next march.

Instagram has remained a social media Switzerland: there, it’s nothing but home-decorating photos, artfully staged food and cute babies – an apolitical oasis in these troubled times.

Beyonce’s news was powerful enough to bring some of the Insta-tranquility over to the rest of social media, and for a brief hour or so political Twitter was tempered with jokes about Beyonce’s baby shower and several plays on “Betwice”.

Possible name suggestions included Yellow and Red Ivy – her five-year-old daughter with Jay Z is Blue Ivy Carter.

TwitterImage copyrightTWITTER

It was almost like 2016 again.

That’s not to say her announcement was strictly apolitical.

As one comedian on Twitter noted, “there are more black people in Beyonce right now, than in Trumps entire cabinet team.”

Some also saw a hint of politics in the timing: the news came on 1 February, the first day of Black History Month.

“BEYONCE WAITED UNTIL BLACK HISTORY MONTH BECAUSE SHE LOVES US SO” wrote New York Magazine writer Rembert Brown, who is not usually given to all caps.

It was a more fitting kick off for many than the address given by President Trump earlier in the day, in which he called Frederick Douglass, America’s most significant abolitionist, “someone who has done a terrific job that is being recognised by more and more people”.

That had some wondering if he even knew who Douglass was.

When a reporter asked Mr Trump’s press secretary for more clarity, it only got worse, and as a result Douglass was trending on Twitter today, too.

“Beyonce would commemorate the first day of Black History Month by letting us all know she’s bringing more black person magic into the world,” wrote one Twitter user.

In an era when many activists are concerned that Donald Trump’s policies and his pick for attorney General, Jeff Sessions, will be detrimental to American civil rights, a supersized Beyonce pregnancy was a welcome distraction – and a reminder, however slight, that time marches on.

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