Beyonce Beat: The GQ Cover and Those Inevitable Rihanna Comparisons

As Beyonce’s sizzling February GQ cover hits shelves, readers are taking notice of the diva’s slim figure and sexy pose. Dressed in a football jersey–a nod to her Superbowl halftime show performance–Beyonce deadpans the camera, proving she has not only lost the baby weight, but is ready for her busy 2013.

Of course, as Beyonce’s cover was released, the inevitable Rihanna comparisons began. Rihanna was GQ‘s January cover girl, who also graced the magazine wearing very little.

@jameelajamil wrote, “Woah! Look out Rhianna… Beyonce is on the naked bandwagon… #iamabsolutelyreadyforthisjelly.

However, when analyzing the two covers, they are very different, in keeping with the wildly different women they depict.

Rihanna’s cover, in which the “Umbrella” singer is clad in black leather, symbolizes the bad girl in control persona she so desperately wants to project–if only to mask her likely insecurity over her tumultuous relationship with Chris Brown.  Rihanna’s love triangle with Brown and Karrueche Tran plays out daily on social media, with the “Diamonds” singer Instagramming romantic photos with Brown one minute and being left in Paris the next.  Yet the image on her GQ is dark and all about control, with the singer covering herself just enough to avoid Playboy territory.

Beyonce’s GQ cover, while sharing the commodity of skin, indicates Beyonce at her essence: a brand. Decked out in a sports jersey, the cover is a promotional nod to a highly public event: her 2013 Superbowl performance that is set to launch the next step of her career.

In the past few months, the Beyonce machine has certainly been in full swing.  The singer  just landed a new $50 million deal with Pepsi.  The deal will include typical channels of advertising like commercials and print ads. In addition, Pepsi has also pledged a multimillion-dollar “creative content development fund” to support Beyonce’s artistic endeavors.“Pepsi embraces creativity and understands that artists evolve,” Beyonce said in a statement. “As a businesswoman, this allows me to work with a lifestyle brand with no compromise and without sacrificing my creativity.”

Going back to the GQ cover, that’s the perspective Beyonce truly projects, that of a businesswoman. The bits of skin, flat stomach, and glam makeup are all just teases of innocent femininity. Really, they are just evidence that she has it all–the talent and reputation to command a stadium and the body and beauty to be the wife of Jay-Z. Her argument is one of power, rather than Rihanna’s need for control.

Following this cover war and the Superbowl, Beyonce will be reuniting with Destiny’s Child for the first time in 8 years. Beyonce posted a note on her website Thursday morning with a title that read: Destiny’s Child Love Songs. Underneath the headline, she wrote: “I am so proud to announce the first original Destiny’s Child music in eight years! – Beyonce”

Pepsi, Super Bowl Performance, HBO documentary, GQ cover,  new Destiny’s Child song–a well oiled machine indeed, Queen B.

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