Beyoncé Celebrated Her 40th Birthday With A Massive Collage, And It’s Perfect

There must be an alternate reality where Beyoncé Knowles’ birthday is an international holiday. For those of us that live in this reality, though, it isn’t, and we have to make do with celebrating her birth the old-fashioned way -- by talking about how much we love her. And this year, the singer/actress/entrepreneur/icon made it a little bit easier to do that, by sharing a massive collage to commemorate her 40th year on earth.

Beyoncé’s mom, Tina Knowles, gave fans a taste of the elaborate pictorial on her own Instagram account. She shared a short video that scrolls through the length of the collage, along with a repost of a heartfelt birthday greeting from Curtis Dennis. Take a look at the sweet way they commemorated Beyonce’s birthday here:

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The collage itself can best be viewed in all its glory on Beyoncé’s personal website. It acts as an interactive timeline, allowing fans to view her whole life story through a series of photographs. There are baby pictures from 1981 as well as photos of herself dressed up and standing alongside her parents and other family members. School pictures and shots of her holding a microphone as a young girl prove that she’s always had a sense of style and an undeniable star quality.

Screenshots from Star Search and official photos from the early days of Destiny’s Child make way for shots of the girl group looking glamorous on the red carpet. Gradually, those too give way for photos that capture the trajectory of the singer's successful career as a solo artist and actress. There are images from magazine shoots and iconic performances; we can see her pictured alongside everyone from Michael Jackson and Oprah to Mary J. Blige and Prince (and, of course, Jay-Z and their children).

Huge moments in her career are also commemorated with photos from her business and fashion ventures as well as Destiny’s Child star on Hollywood Walk of Fame, a Peabody Award for her groundbreaking film Lemonade, and Grammys (lots and lots of Grammys). By the time you scroll to the end, past photos from the unforgettable Beychella, a glimpse of Nala in The Lion King and stunning shots from last year’s Black is King, it feels like you’ve witnessed one of the most impressive careers in history (which, to be honest, you have).

One benefit of taking in the full collage on Beyoncé’s website is that it’s interactive. Clicking on each picture to enlarge, filling up your entire screen and giving you a chance to take in each important moment one-by-one. But regardless of how you choose to experience it, it’s well worth your time. As a celebrity who’s managed to safeguard many aspects of her private life, her decision to allow us to glimpse these meaningful moments is especially generous. We can’t wait to see what she does -- and how she chooses to share it -- over the next 40 years.

Katherine Webb