In Renaissance, Beyoncé makes culture reckon with Blue Ivy

Whitney Alese
ZORA
Published in
4 min readSep 25, 2023

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One thing about Beyoncé, she is going to have the last laugh and will make it a moment.

During her Renaissance World Tour, there is a dance segment that features her daughter, Blue Ivy Carter. She arises from the floor during Beyoncé’s song “My Power”, a fitting arrival for her as her mother sings “This that war. This that bloodline.”

This segment has become central to the story of the Renaissance tour, a segment many people love and are most excited about. Eleven-year-old Blue joins her mother for a portion of choreography before she is joined by the other Renaissance dancers as the show sets up for its next segments as Blue dances to a portion of “We Gon’ Be Alright” by Kendrick Lamar and her mother’s “Black Parade.” Her segment ends and she is met with thunderous applause and cheers, her mother seemingly pausing the show allowing the audience’s ovation for Blue.

It’s a beautiful moment. But it is also a powerful moment when you consider the criticisms, scrutiny and disgusting cruelty launched at Blue since her birth.

Blue’s features have unfortunately been a topic of grown-ups’ conversation since her infancy.

One woman even went as far as to create a now-defunct Change.org petition to “Comb Her Hair”. Jasmin Toliver’s petition said: “As a woman who understands the importance of hair care. It’s disturbing to watch a child suffering from the lack of hair moisture. The parents of Blue Ivy. Sean Carter a.k.a Jay Z and Beyoncé have failed at numerous attempts of doing Blue Ivy’s hair. This matter has escalated to the child developing matted dreads and lint balls. Please let’s get the word out to properly care for Blue Ivy hair.”

Beyoncé touched on the topic briefly in her song, “Formation” with the lyrics “I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros.”

That did not stop adults from continuing to make cruel quips at Blue’s expense. Even celebrities are being called to the mat to reckon with Blue. “Difficult People”, a show produced by a “very hands-on” Amy Poehler, in its very first episode drops the ‘joke’; “I can’t wait for Blue Ivy to be old enough so R. Kelly can piss on her.” This while Amy is the founder of a girls organization.

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Whitney Alese
ZORA
Writer for

Whitney Alese is a writer & podcaster, featured in WIRED Magazine (Sept 2020) & I-D Magazine (Dec. 2021), and NBC (Jan 2023). She is based in Philadelphia.