YouTube screenshot
YouTube screenshot

Surprisingly, the worse part about this video isn't actually Zara Larsson's attempt to cover Beyonce. It was bad, of course. It looks and sounds like a professionally edited clip from karaoke night at Mayonnaise Caribana. But although I was tempted to coin her "Darth Mediocre" after first watching it, that would be unfair because she does actually have legitimate talent. And this isn't her fault.

And, it wasn't even her disturbingly awkward facial expressions, movements, and gestures. Those were actually even quite endearing, like when my daughter pics up my iPhone, and attempts to mimic me by attempting to place it in her tiny pockets.


I'm even willing to grant a pass for her Chewbacca shawl. (Han Solo is dead! Hasn't Chewy been through enough?)

No, the worst part about this video is that it exists. Someone at Harper's Bazaar heard that Larsson was a huge fan of Beyonce, and then actually came up with the idea to do this, and then shared this idea with people who then either agreed or were too intimidated and/or apathetic to disagree. No one thought to say "You know, maybe it might be better if we just had Zara on camera talking about her fandom and Beyonce's influence — which I'm sure people would appreciate — instead of filming and sharing gluten-free Lemonade."

Which leads me to believe that, for whatever reason, someone at Harper's has a Flintstone-sized bone to pick with Zara Larsson. Showing her in this aggressively unflattering light was no accident. This is some petty shit, man. It's a gotdamn conspiracy. It must be. It has to be.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a columnist for, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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