This time last year, Beyoncé dropped her single “Formation,” which presaged her memorable Super Bowl halftime performance and 2016-defining album Lemonade. Today, the singer and icon dropped something else entirely: a picture on her Instagram account that doubles as an announcement that she isn’t just pregnant, but pregnant with twins.
“We would like to share our love and happiness. We have been blessed two times over,” reads the accompanying text. “We are incredibly grateful that our family will be growing by two, and we thank you for your well wishes.”
And just in case the picture itself didn’t already make you feel like a mere mortal by comparison, consider the fact that this means Beyoncé will be headlining Coachella in April while several months pregnant, with twins.
This is a very exciting moment for the Carter-Knowleses — and in keeping with her meticulous approach to curating her own image, Beyoncé made sure that the announcement went off exactly as she wanted.
There’s the image itself, shot like a magazine spread but also not-so-slyly alluding to religious iconography with the veil and wreathed flowers. There’s the fact that she released it herself, on her own social media platform, versus letting it leak or giving anyone else the exclusive. And just as with “Formation,” this announcement comes at the beginning of Black History Month, an occasion she has regularly celebrated.
This announcement also deliberately shows Beyoncé’s pregnant stomach, which is a pointed statement. If you’re not a card-carrying member of the Beyhive and/or internet conspiracy theorist that specializes in calling celebrities Illuminati headfakes, the fact of Beyoncé showing her pregnant stomach might seem like a trivial one, given that, you know, this is a pregnancy announcement. But the important context here is that Beyoncé’s first pregnancy was met with a ton of undue suspicion. Though she announced that pregnancy by exposing her swollen stomach at the end of her 2011 VMA performance, skeptics kept doubting the truth well past Blue Ivy’s birth, the most persistent rumor being that she had hired a surrogate.
Beyoncé herself didn’t dignify the rumors with a response — at least not until Lemonade. Its final video — “All Night” — included a montage of home video clips, including one of a hugely pregnant Beyoncé smiling beatifically at the camera like she knew, even then, that she was about to slam the door shut on baseless gossip. (That moment comes at 5:19, in case you truly need to see it with your own eyes.)
2016 was a huge year for Beyoncé. But just a month into the new year, it seems as though she’s on her way to outdoing herself yet again in 2017 — which is about as Beyoncé as it gets.