Beyoncé and Jay Z took a break from raising a child, building a media empire, and running the Illuminati to visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam yesterday. While visiting the site where the Holocaust victim hid for two years is one of the classier things a celebrity can do in Amsterdam, it comes with its own unique set of potential PR pitfalls. After all, pot is practically legal these days, while being a jerk at the Anne Frank museum is still highly frowned upon.
Justin Bieber learned this lesson the hard way when he decided to write his own entry in the Anne Frank House guest book. Unsurprisingly, the man-boy behind the great egging prank of 2014 didn't exactly approach this occasion with a sense of tact or gravitas. Presumably after ruling out "I'd totally tap that" and "I just hot boxed Anne Frank's hiding annex," Bieber finally landed on "Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber." #neverforget
After Justin Bieber's gruesome gaffe, we vowed never again to let a narcissistic celebrity sully the memory of that famously "great girl," Anne Frank. Jay Z and Beyoncé's highly publicized visit was therefore met with some initial wariness: whenever Anne Frank and Instagram are used in the same sentence, it’s easy to assume that something has gone horribly awry.
Beyoncé did indeed commemorate her visit with two separate Instagrams. In each picture, she poses in front of photographs of Anne Frank while wearing her most serious face and fedora. The images of Beyoncé's face set next to Anne's naturally invite a few comparisons. Anne Frank was a Holocaust victim who inspired millions with her bravery, intelligence, and indomitable spirit. Recently, Beyoncé has dropped a super fun album, and inspired a generation of spring breakers to caption their Punta Cana selfies with the hashtag #surfboardt. Obviously, Beyoncé's pictures do not intend to offend—in fact, one could argue that her huddled crouch and somber expression are gestures of respect and humility—evidence that Queen Bey has found someone she not only admires, but is willing to effectively "bow down" to.
Various media outfits have already praised Beyoncé and Jay Z's tactful approach to their Anne Frank House experience. Still, it seems like when it comes to Instagramming at the Anne Frank House, it’s probably a good idea to just, maybe, not do that? Now a picture of Blue Ivy posing in a baby-sized clog? That's an Instagram we could all get behind.
Contrary to popular belief, it is actually possible to have a completely, undeniably sensitive celebrity visit to the Anne Frank House. After the Bieber incident, New York Magazine compiled a list of tactful messages that stars have penned in the museum's guest book. They include Lenny Kravitz, who wrote, "Let love rule. It's an honour to be here. Anne lives on." Whoopi Goldberg, with the simple "so happy to return to the place of peace." And Steven Spielberg's "Never Forget! In life and even more in death Anne Frank has held the world in the innocent spell of her truth and wisdom." Of course, the fact that we needed a reminder that some celebrities are capable of striking a respectful tone while discussing the Holocaust is slightly soul-crushing.
Our advice for celebrities who are planning an upcoming Anne Frank House visit? Just don't be the worst, you guys.