Around 1:10 a.m. Friday, Beyoncé once again took to Instagram, the only medium she prefers over the quasi-anonymous Tumblr, to regale the world with her maternal joy. She posted a photo of herself standing in front of a large wreath, with the ocean behind her, a continuation of the lush, verdant theme from her Awol Erizku–shot maternity photos. The picture was captioned simply: “Sir Carter and Rumi 1 month today. ❤️ .”
In the photo, Beyoncé holds Sir Carter and Rumi, her and husband Jay-Z’s new twins, and stares at the camera intently, her skin flush. The shot is pastel, ornate, extra. And very … Beyoncé.
The Instagram post is both the first time Beyoncé has shared photos of the 1-month-old twins, and the first official Knowles-Carter camp confirmation of their birth. In the month since they arrived, multiple outlets struggled to even report on the twins’ birth, despite Beyoncé’s father and former manager, Mathew Knowles, tweeting a (likely unvetted) confirmation of their arrival. But Beyoncé controls her public image with laserlike precision; this shit is not a game. Instagram has become her preferred platform for announcing everything from surprise albums (RIP, my December 2013 sleep patterns) to pregnancy, largely because it dispenses with the need for an intermediary.
That the circumstances of the twins’ births were — and still remain — largely a secret is hardly unsurprising. The Knowles-Carters are notoriously private, and they have struggled with bearing children. But this announcement also comes two weeks after the release of father Jay-Z’s 4:44, an album dedicated largely to familial apologia. The album and its attendant artistic offshoots — including and especially the confessional addendum, “Footnotes for 4:44” — grapple with Jay-Z’s shortcomings as a father and husband, most notably his infidelity. “I just ran into this place and we built this big, beautiful mansion of a relationship that wasn’t totally built on the 100 percent truth and it starts cracking,” Jay-Z said of his motivation for using the post-Lemonade record to excavate his marriage’s wounds. “Things started happening that the public can see.”
Though she was heavily involved in the album’s production, Beyoncé had been noticeably inactive on Instagram both ahead of the album’s release and after its warm, but presumably dizzying reception (her last post before this announcement, a photo with the Knowles-Carters’ 5-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, was posted on May 30). But now, after the initial tidal waves following 4:44’s release and Jay-Z’s public (if also awkward) atonement, posting photos of the twins is less fraught. After the public catharsis of Lemonade and subsequent self-castigation of 4:44, the Knowles-Carter family can (re)write its future on a far cleaner slate. The sins have been confessed; the forgiveness tendered.
For spectators, there is little left to do but marvel at the meticulousness with which Jay-Z and Beyoncé rendered the fissures of their marriage irrelevant. Sir Carter (so is it Sir Carter Carter? Sir Carter Knowles-Carter?) and Rumi are here now, unsurprisingly adorable and blissfully unaware of our interest in their parents’ distress. Here’s to hoping Blue’s willing to hop off the mic long enough to lend them tips on keeping everything in shaka.