Aint nothing to a real one. And Beyoncé is just that for her perfect essay in Vogue that might be the most relateable & necessary thing every 30-something YBF chick needs RIGHT NOW.
Beyoncé is sharing it all. She’s at the point in her life where she’s learned some lessons, and she’s starting to apply them unapologetically. While Beysus may be the queen of all queens to most of us, with never even a piece of a hair weave track or wiggery out of place even while slaying an entire stadium, she revealed she’s been going through some ish. Yessss Bey, you know we feel you.
The sexy, apologetically thick mama of 3’s MILF confidence didn’t come easy, even though it surely seems it did. Chick has a world of resources at her fingertips, why wouldn’t it? But she just reminded us that being a black woman means suffering & surviving through some sh*t no matter how much money and fame your black woman self has. She gets it. And us.
In her historic and iconic (we don’t care who says otherwise, fight us) September 2018 VOGUE magazine story, the “Boss” chick preached a whole sermon. We’ve never read something more relatable from a woman of color on a super mainstream platform.
While she was given unprecedented control over her entire shoot and story, y’all know that doesn’t mean she was going to suddenly give us an interview (something she hasn’t done in YEARS). She, once again, gave us a update on her life as a grown ass mother, wife and responsible icon, in her own words.
No, she’s not pregnant. Biology and organ shifting affects Beyonce, too. Let her live. Yes, she’s intentionally lifting as she climbs and putting black creatives in the spotlight. Yes, that’s her own hair in this spread and many times on the OTRII stage. And yes, she grew up with a family dynamic that damn near ruined her own relationship.
Our fave sticky-note, Facebook post, IG caption worthy parts that damn near had us in tears are words to live by, for sure.
On embracing her post-babies body after her c-section and labor trauma:
I was 218 pounds the day I gave birth to Rumi and Sir. I was swollen from toxemia and had been on bed rest for over a month. My health and my babies’ health were in danger, so I had an emergency C-section. We spent many weeks in the NICU. My husband was a soldier and such a strong support system for me. I am proud to have been a witness to his strength and evolution as a man, a best friend, and a father. I was in survival mode and did not grasp it all until months later. Today I have a connection to any parent who has been through such an experience. After the C-section, my core felt different. It had been major surgery. Some of your organs are shifted temporarily, and in rare cases, removed temporarily during delivery. I am not sure everyone understands that. I needed time to heal, to recover. During my recovery, I gave myself self-love and self-care, and I embraced being curvier. I accepted what my body wanted to be.
On embracing her body and being one with her FUPA
After six months, I started preparing for Coachella. I became vegan temporarily, gave up coffee, alcohol, and all fruit drinks. But I was patient with myself and enjoyed my fuller curves. My kids and husband did, too.
I think it’s important for women and men to see and appreciate the beauty in their natural bodies. That’s why I stripped away the wigs and hair extensions and used little makeup for this shoot.
To this day my arms, shoulders, breasts, and thighs are fuller. I have a little mommy pouch, and I’m in no rush to get rid of it. I think it’s real. Whenever I’m ready to get a six-pack, I will go into beast zone and work my ass off until I have it. But right now, my little FUPA and I feel like we are meant to be.
On showing the world that they, too, can find and hire black creatives for their own good.
When I first started, 21 years ago, I was told that it was hard for me to get onto covers of magazines because black people did not sell. Clearly that has been proven a myth. Not only is an African American on the cover of the most important month for Vogue, this is the first ever Vogue cover shot by an African American photographer.
It’s important to me that I help open doors for younger artists. There are so many cultural and societal barriers to entry that I like to do what I can to level the playing field, to present a different point of view for people who may feel like their voices don’t matter.
If people in powerful positions continue to hire and cast only people who look like them, sound like them, come from the same neighborhoods they grew up in, they will never have a greater understanding of experiences different from their own. They will hire the same models, curate the same art, cast the same actors over and over again, and we will all lose.
On ending her broken relationship family cycle
I come from a lineage of broken male-female relationships, abuse of power, and mistrust. Only when I saw that clearly was I able to resolve those conflicts in my own relationship. Connecting to the past and knowing our history makes us both bruised and beautiful.
I researched my ancestry recently and learned that I come from a slave owner who fell in love with and married a slave. I had to process that revelation over time. I questioned what it meant and tried to put it into perspective. I now believe it’s why God blessed me with my twins. Male and female energy was able to coexist and grow in my blood for the first time. I pray that I am able to break the generational curses in my family and that my children will have less complicated lives.
On bossing up and flourishing in her womanhood glow-up
There are many shades on every journey. Nothing is black or white. I’ve been through hell and back, and I’m grateful for every scar. I have experienced betrayals and heartbreaks in many forms. I have had disappointments in business partnerships as well as personal ones, and they all left me feeling neglected, lost, and vulnerable. Through it all I have learned to laugh and cry and grow. I look at the woman I was in my 20s and I see a young lady growing into confidence but intent on pleasing everyone around her. I now feel so much more beautiful, so much sexier, so much more interesting. And so much more powerful.
One day I was randomly singing the black national anthem to Rumi while putting her to sleep. I started humming it to her every day. In the show at the time I was working on a version of the anthem with these dark minor chords and stomps and belts and screams. After a few days of humming the anthem, I realized I had the melody wrong. I was singing the wrong anthem. One of the most rewarding parts of the show was making that change. I swear I felt pure joy shining down on us. I know that most of the young people on the stage and in the audience did not know the history of the black national anthem before Coachella. But they understood the feeling it gave them.
It was a celebration of all the people who sacrificed more than we could ever imagine, who moved the world forward so that it could welcome a woman of color to headline such a festival.
On raising a black son as a black mother
I want him to know that he can be strong and brave but that he can also be sensitive and kind. I want my son to have a high emotional IQ where he is free to be caring, truthful, and honest. It’s everything a woman wants in a man, and yet we don’t teach it to our boys.
I hope to teach my son not to fall victim to what the internet says he should be or how he should love. I want to create better representations for him so he is allowed to reach his full potential as a man, and to teach him that the real magic he possesses in the world is the power to affirm his own existence.
You can read her full essay over at VOGUE, as told to fellow YBF chick and journalist Clover Hope. And swipe through the gallery for the rest of Beyoncé’s stripped down fashion spread, shot by the first black photographer to shoot a VOGUE cover, Tyler Mitchell. All black creatives, and it’s perfect as ever.
Photog: Tyler Mitchell for VOGUE