Beyoncé usually spends a lot of time not talking about Jay-Z. Even magazines that tout some exclusive interview in which she's finally opened up only have a snippet or two, and usually they are about her decision to not talk.
So you would have every reason to be wary when yet another magazine — this time Essence — comes along and claims that the singer has broken her infamous silence. Except in this case, she has.
After several pages about Beyoncé's decision not to speak publicly about her private life — peppered with lots of so-called expert opinion from an associate professor of communications and anthropology, a blogger, an unnamed media insider, the singer's acting coach and even her mother — the magazine finally gets down to business.
Up to this point, Beyoncé led the magazine to believe she wouldn't be really opening up to them either: "Interviewing Beyoncé, who has admitted she dislikes the process, is a little like talking to your mother about sex. There may be a pretense of open communication, but the subtext is clear: Are you seriously going to ask me that? ... For now, Beyoncé and Jay-Z's relationship exists in that no-man's land where they won't give us anything and we can't get enough."
So at first, Essence settles for the usual discussion about her effort to maintain her privacy, which Beyoncé claims is so she can keep some mystery, stay sane and control her brand — though not necessarily in that order.
"I feel that, especially now, with the Internet and paparazzi and camera phones, it's so difficult to maintain mystery," she told the magazine. "And that's so important. Even in a relationship, I feel like not being that accessible is really important. If you think about Prince or Michael Jackson, or any superstars, you couldn't see them when they got off their planes or when they got out of the pool and didn't comb their hair. It's great that people see we're not perfect. But it's almost impossible to have superstars now, because people will never get enough. And it's not even about my music. It's about all the things that people imagine about me in their minds. But I can't satisfy everyone. I know that Jay and I probably do inspire people. And I appreciate people feeling proud. But this is the only way I've been able to stay sane, so why would I start talking now?
"[Not speaking] controls your brand," she continued. "It controls what you want to put out there and kind of forces people to talk about what you want them to talk about."
But then Beyoncé lets it slip that it was a joint decision with her husband to keep quiet. "We decide everything," she told the magazine. "My word is my word. What Jay and I have is real. It's not about interviews or getting the right photo op. It's real."
But the writer persisted. And normally, this would be just the thing to get Beyoncé to shut down or call off the interview or find some excuse to change the subject. Instead, she groaned. "You're gonna get me in trouble," she complained, and then launched into a slew of details about the couple's private wedding that the public has been craving for her to acknowledge — to the point that some have referred to it as a secret wedding, despite the very public-record nature of these things.
Beyoncé tells the magazine that the wedding was very small and intimate, because she's not a "traditional" woman and having it be "her day" wasn't something she needed. Being a star and walking the red carpet has diminished the need for that over the years. "It's been my day so many days already," she told the magazine.
She didn't want an engagement ring because "people put too much emphasis on that. It's just material, and it's just silly to me," she said.
Instead of just getting wedding rings, the couple also got matching tattoos of the Roman numeral four on their ring fingers, so if they take off the bands for work or to go swimming, a mark of some form is still there. (The number four is special to the couple because her birthday is September 4, his birthday is December 4, and their wedding anniversary is April 4.)
While she wouldn't discuss how Hova proposed, or even if he proposed ("We've been together a long time. We always knew it would happen," is all she would offer), Beyoncé did reveal this: They plan to have kids. Someday. And perhaps as soon as after she puts out this album.