Before we begin, we need to state something for the record: We love Beyoncé. Most of us here at The Root grew up alongside her, “ambivalent” is literally the worst feeling anyone on our staff has toward her, and a few staff members are even superfans. Basically, Bey is like fam, which means we pretty much root for her unconditionally (pun intended) and follow her growth with interest.
That said, family members also deserve tough love and honest feedback.
Case in point: The Glow Up was recently sent a peek at a few of the latest looks from Bey’s Ivy Park “cheerleader-inspired” activewear collection to promote along with Super Bowl LIII—and we had questions.
First question? Why would anyone think we’d be promoting Super Bowl LIII? If you read us even on the semi-regular, you know we will not be doing any NFL promotions for the foreseeable future, so we were low-key offended at the mere suggestion. Until the league does right by us (black folk), everything they even think about is going to crumble here at The Root. And no, we don’t care if Gladys and Chloe and Halle and ‘dem are planning to sing their hearts out. There are certain yard lines we simply won’t cross.
“Maybe this was supposed to only go to white mags?” our Managing Editor Genetta Adams surmised. “Maybe Bey’s PR team f’d up.”
Maybe. But then, there was the collection itself, which raised questions we simply couldn’t answer for ourselves. Our solution? Crowdsource from our extended family here at The Root. And because our family is the best kind of dysfunctional, hilarity naturally ensued.
So, let’s get in formation and start at the very beginning ...
Okay, not bad. Your typical athleisure line, with that Beyoncé-level ounce of “extra.” The jersey mini dress is clearly a nod to Bey’s Bulls-jersey bodysuit in the “Feeling Myself” video, and overall, nothing here is offensive, just slightly ... off. Like, do we need slits and step-hems just for the sake of slits and step-hems? And that warmup jacket with the single cold shoulder was just plain confusing. Like, why?
“Am I hot? Am I cold? Give you warmth, but make it sex?” asked Social Media Editor (and eternal Beyoncé stan) Corey Townsend.
Since those sound like potential future Beyoncé lyrics, we’re going to go with “yes.”
Real talk? This segment is wearable, if somewhat underwhelming. I mean, who can’t use a decent pair of sweatpants? And the foil jacket vaguely reminds us of the covetable Brea Stinson-designed bubble coat Bey wore during the Formation tour, so ... we guess we’ll allow it. We guess. *shrug* (Frankly, we’d prefer the bubble coat and sequined tee.)
But sometimes, a theme can simply be taken too far—and far too literally. That’s the only explanation we could find for a series of what appeared to be baseball-inspired garments that left us collectively wondering, “Who’s on first” in the Ivy Park design team? And that’s when all bets were off on trying to redeem this collection—or maintain our decorum.
Maiysha Kai, Managing Editor of The Glow Up: Like … this can’t be life. What in the “take me out to the ballgame” hell???
Tonja Renée Stidhum, Entertainment Writer: GIRL. I actually screamed in horror at the baseball couture. Why is this something?
Genetta: This feels like a troll. This can’t be that bad.
Ibn Safir, Contributing Editor: Always knew Bey loved A League of Their Own, but not that much. Damn.
Anne Branigin, Staff Writer: Why would you want to roll up to brunch looking like the chewed up baseball from The Sandlot? I don’t think you can defend that sweater.
Genetta: I feel like, even though it might bring the swarm of the Beyhive upon us, we have to mock this shit.
Ibn: SS ‘19: Ya Killin me Smalls.
Tonja: LMAO. Sizes are ya killing me smalls and extra-smalls.
Ibn: Also available in Baby (Ruth) sizes.
Anne: “Can I get this in an L 7 weenie?”
Natalie Degraffinried, News Editor: A Large of Their Own.
Tonja: Jackie Robinson didn’t die for this.
Ibn: Just running roughshod all over Pablo Sanchez’s legacy.
Tonja: A mess! 3 strikes you’re out.
Ibn: There’s no crying in baseball ponchos!
Genetta: Jeezus, lol.
Tonja: Wait. If you wear that baseball poncho with the “Hot Sauce” bat, does the world implode?
Anne: Shit, take the Hot Sauce bat to your own closet.
Anne: “DOES THIS SPARK JOY?”
Panama Jackson, Senior Editor, VSB: Marie Kondo is changing lives out here ... And all that terrible fashion is Ivy Park?
Maiysha: Y’all realize if I reprint this, we’ll likely never work with them again, right?
Anne: That’s fine if they promise never to make clothes like this again.
Tonja: It’s tough love? Sure.
Ibn: Damn, we struck out? Sorry you got hit by this pitch, Maiysha. Take your base.
Genetta: Please, I can’t take it ...
Maiysha: This is really too hilarious not to share … Y’all are coming with me, though.
Anne: If we’re getting thrown out, it will be the whole squad.
Natalie: (OK, but is this a safe space to admit I might wear those brown shorts or ...)
Tonja: The baseball ones? If I had to choose I’d totally pick those, lmao.
Natalie: Yup, lol.
Maiysha: Totally safe, Natalie. (Wait. Did I just make another baseball pun?)
Anne: This is the sartorial equivalent of watching Lupita snap to “I Got 5 on It.” Maybe they’re trying to be subversive by giving us a devastatingly ugly Super Bowl collection.
Stephen Crockett, Senior Editor: I have three words about this fashion: House of Deréon.
(Sorry, Bey and Co. We still love you! But like any good family, we just want you to do better!)