Many of us have seen, heard, or read the phrase “You have as many hours in the day as Beyoncé.” This could be the ultimate boost to the ego – if we were Beyoncé. For us normal folks, living and struggling in the real world, this quote is not what we need to hear. Do we need to aspire to have the fierce, great, all-wielding power Beyoncé manages to exude flawlessly on a daily basis? Sure. Why not?

In the past few years, we have been able to see Beyoncé flourish, moving from the lead singer of Destiny’s Child to a mother, powerhouse performer, wife, and self-proclaimed feminist who owns her body and time fearlessly. But we are not Beyoncé, and sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day to do everything. That’s okay to admit, even with bitter self-defeat I sometimes feel having to acknowledge the fact.

For us normal folks, living in the real world, this quote is not what we need to hear.

I agree that we have as many hours in the day as Beyoncé. 24, to be exact. 24 full hours to live, breathe, and conquer our kingdoms in our own right. If you’re like me, a 25-year-old graduate student with two jobs, an internship, a desire to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and be a badass student, this message could empower you to the fullest extent. We need that power and motivation to get our asses to the gym, get our nose in the books, and stomp around like we cannot be defeated.

I am not Beyoncé. I do not have a legion of followers on social media, money to blow on vacations and shopping, or a glam squad to do my hair and makeup (which, as a grad student, can more or less mean some lip balm, high bun atop my head, and sweats). I don’t have a personal trainer and dietician, or a Beyhive to worship the ground I walk on. I do not have anything resembling this within my clutches on a daily basis to keep me in check.

I do not have anything resembling this within my clutches on a daily basis.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am taking nothing away from the empowering woman that Beyoncé is, because she deserves all the credit where credit is due. I have a problem with the quote. It’s unrealistic to believe we are afforded the same shortcuts and abilities Beyoncé has access to, and I believe it should be altered, edited, even adapted to fit real world living conditions for real life people without the living amenities and access that Beyoncé has to be Beyoncé on a daily basis. How about “You have as many hours in the day as a working mom, student, full-time twenty-something, up and coming artist, struggling gym rat, the list goes on and on.

Why do our hours in the day have to be compared to someone whose success and power in no way reflect the modern day struggles and realities of a human being? Many of us, myself included have tried to do it all in twenty-four hours, Lord knows there has been a boundless set of efforts and strife to do so and failure to match it.

There is a reason there is only one Beyoncé.

I don’t want to go home feeling failure because I can’t do it all. It’s not humanly possibly to be a modern day Beyoncé and still be at the top of my game while doing so. When I come home after eight hours of work and school, then have to make something resembling dinner, maybe get a good hour of a workout in, and retire to my bed to study for a few hours before bed, I don’t resemble or feel like Beyoncé.

I am exhausted and trying to decided how many hours I can get sleep and still be mobile in the morning, I am counting how many hours my body will stay up before I perish into a slobber induced sleep only to repeat the day over again until glorious Friday comes around. There is a reason there is only one Beyoncé. I completely encourage anyone to aspire and feel inspired by her fierceness and work ethic.

It’s not humanly possibly to be a modern day Beyoncé.

It’s okay to not be Beyoncé, and to understand that while we can conquer the day, week, month, hell, for some us, even our year, it’s okay to not kill yourself trying to be all you can be every day, moment, or hour of the day. Be yourself. Be flawed and human and find strength in your struggle that many of us can relate to on a daily basis.

  • Desiree Johnson

    Texan lady living in the windy, sometimes temperamental city of Chicago. Whether enjoying a Sunday movie, listening to Frank Sinatra or reading one of her favorite authors like Junot Diaz, Desiree always seeks to immerse herself in the arts. She enjoys exploring the world around her.