By Eliza Berman
December 12, 2014

Beyoncé’s self-titled visual album — which just this week helped her become the most Grammy-nominated woman in history — turns one tomorrow. In honor of this anniversary, the singer released a cinematic, eleven-minute film called “Yours and Mine.” The short film features Beyoncé’s reflections on fame, family and feminism, narrated over dramatic black and white footage, mostly of Beyoncé herself but occasionally utilizing more abstract visuals.

Reflecting on her megastar status, she says, “I sometimes wish I could just be anonymous and walk down a street just like everyone else.” Of her marriage to Jay-Z, she says that all her successes would be empty without someone to share them with. And on the topic of feminism — a word she’s arguably helping to bring into the mainstream — she admits that the loaded nature of the term used to scare her. Not anymore. “Honestly, it’s very simple,” she says. “It’s just a person that believes in equality for men and women.”

Some might call the video self-indulgent, but Beyoncé’s musings are down-to-earth, if not earth-shattering. The video seems, more than anything, like an opportunity for a woman who is so often seen refracted through the manufactured prism of fame to share a piece of her inner life. “When you’re famous, no one looks at you as a human anymore,” she says. “You become the property of the public.” For these eleven minutes, self-conscious as they are, her humanity shines through.

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