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Why Beyoncé May Have Decided to Announce Her Pregnancy on Feb. 1

A few minor things happened this week. Former President Obama wore a baseball hat backward (which felt good for everyone); the reserves of bacon hit a 50-year low (who knew we have reserves of bacon?); and Beyoncé and Jay Z straight-up stopped time with a casual Instagram announcement of their pregnancy. Twins no less!

Work must have ground to a halt because half a million tweets went out within just 45 minutes of the announcement, and the photo set a Guinness record as the most-liked Instagram ever within 7 hours.

More: You’d better believe Beyoncé’s made the list of most controversial videos of 2016

But what I really want to talk about is the date of the pregnancy announcement

Why did Queen Bey choose Feb. 1? Was there any significance to it or did she just roll out of bed and think, “Yeah, today’s a good day to shake shit up.”

There’s one obvious hint that this announcement has been a long time in the making: the initial photo. That was no snap uploaded off a proud partner’s iPhone. That’s a full-fledged photo shoot with publicists and lighting experts waiting in the wings. I mean, seriously, nobody doubts that Beyoncé wakes to the bluest of blue skies and enjoys glorious floral arrangements in every room. But does anyone really have a full-length veil just laying around? I rest my case.

And we probably don’t have to point this out, but in the photo, Beyoncé appears to be several months along. It’s possible the Carters (as she so sweetly signed off on the announcement) have been waiting to share their good news on Feb. 1 as way to celebrate Black History Month. Whether it was intentional or not (it totally was) — the Beyhive definitely thought she helped start the celebrations off with a bang.

And it would make sense if Beyoncé planned to unveil her good news in this very specific way considering how much thought she put into announcing her first pregnancy. Bey told Harper’s Bazaar how important agency is to her in light of her celebrity status: “I put a lot of thought into how I wanted to unveil it. It was important to me that I was able to do it myself. I was extremely nervous. It was the toughest red carpet I ever did. I decided to say nothing and proudly show my baby bump.”

Why announcing her pregnancy on the first day of Black History Month makes all the sense

Though both Jay and Bey have always been politically and socially active, the country has changed since she innocently announced Blue Ivy with a subtle rub of her bump at 2011’s VMAs. And whether due to age, motherhood or social unrest, Beyoncé has become bolder about commenting on racism, feminism and power. In 2014, her spot at the top of Time’s 100 Most Influential People list drew criticism over her skimpy costumes and sexualized lyrics. By 2016, following her performance of Formation at the Super Bowl, the criticism had grown to accusations that she was glorifying the Black Panthers and had joined the ranks of “angry black women.”

More: Beyoncé’s pregnancy news is great, but let’s talk about that photo

In reality, Beyoncé has always been a proud black American and a spokesperson for women. Along with her husband, she put up bail money for protestors in Ferguson and Baltimore and donated to help Black Lives Matter develop their infrastructure. She brought four black mothers who lost children in police shootings to the 2016 VMAs. She joined the Ban Bossy campaign, which aims to help girls reframe their ideas about assertiveness, and Gucci’s Chime for Change initiative to support women’s rights worldwide. And Britain’s Telegraph news included her with Prime Minister Theresa May, Queen Elizabeth and Hillary Clinton on their list of the 10 most influential and inspirational women of 2016. By choosing to announce this news on this day, she honored two characteristics she cherishes.

Fans are already buzzing with theories about what the hints of pink and blue in the photo might mean or how long she’s been throwing off hints in public. But no doubt she’s having a happy week knowing that for the second time, her inner circle protected her secret and let her claim this special moment as her own.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

bey and jay family slideshow

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