Beyoncé: The superstar, the creative genius, the wife, the mother, the woman. The 36-year-old singer wears many hats and while she receives countless amounts of recognition for all that she does and excels in, underneath it all is a woman, a real woman, with hopes that transcend music. 

PHOTO: Vogue

September is the most important month in the fashion world and because of this, magazines hold the month to high standards and expectations. Vogue chose Beyoncé as their September issue cover subject and gave her full creative direction over her shoot. It was rumored that she recruited a black 23-year-old photographer to take her photos and the rumor proved to be true. Tyler Mitchell has now become the first black photographer in 126 years to shoot a cover for the famed magazine. For Beyoncé, creating opportunities for other artists is what inspired her to work with Mitchell. 

"Until there is a mosaic of perspectives coming from different ethnicities behind the lens, we will continue to have a narrow approach and view of what the world actually looks like…," she said to Vogue. "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."

Noticeably in the cover photo, Beyoncé is wearing virtually no makeup and gives off an air of strength and subtle vulnerability. She wanted everyone who sees the cover, men and women, to appreciate their natural selves as she has learned to do.

PHOTO: Vogue

After giving birth to her first child, Blue Ivy Carter, she allowed the societal pressures of "snapping back" encourage her to lose her baby weight in three months. She scheduled a "small tour" as an accountability method to assure she loss the weight but looking back she describes the action as "crazy." 

With her twins, Rumi and Sir Carter, her pregnancy presented new challenges than the first and forced her to handle post-pregnancy differently. For one, she was 218 pounds at the time of birth and had to have an emergency c-section this time around because she and the babies’ health were in danger. After that experience, she realized months later she had entered survival mode and need adequate time to heal and recover. 

"During my recovery, I gave myself self-love and self-care, and I embraced being curvier," she said. "I accepted what my body wanted to be. 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."

Another interesting point she addressed about Rumi and Sir is their female and male energy co-habilitating in her bloodline breaking generational curses. Beyoncé openly addressed her family's’ lineage of "broken male-female relationships, abuse of power and mistrust." She learned through exploring her ancestry that her history includes 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."


And in addition to giving birth to her children, she also spoke about her creative births through her music and performances. For Coachella, forever known as #Beychella now, she said her vision for the performance was so clear and was "already written inside (her)." 

"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," she said.

OTRII has also presented a significant stop for her and her husband, Sean "Jay-Z" Carter. While performing in Berlin, she brought attention to the fact that they held their concert at the site of the 1936 Olympics, Olympiastadion.

"This is a site that was used to promote the rhetoric of hate, racism, and divisiveness, and it is the place where Jesse Owens won four gold medals, destroying the myth of white supremacy," she continued. "Less than 90 years later, two black people performed there to a packed, sold-out stadium. When Jay and I sang our final song, we saw everyone smiling, holding hands, kissing and full of love. To see such human growth and connection — I live for those moments."

PHOTO: Vogue

The revered creative openly pays homage to her growth as a woman and shares she has learned so much on her journey. No matter the person, no one's life is perfect and aspiring for perfection cause you to miss out on things that truly matter. 

"I’ve been through hell and back, and I’m grateful for every scar. I have experienced betrayals and heartbreaks in many forms," she began. "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."

For her legacy, through the scope of her children, she wants them to grow up to be the most authentic and self-accepting versions of themselves they can be. She wants her daughters to see themselves as whatever they want to be regardless of what society tells them they can and cannot do. 

"They don’t have to be a certain type or fit into a specific category. They don’t have to be politically correct, as long as they’re authentic, respectful, compassionate and empathetic. They can explore any religion, fall in love with any race and love who they want to love."

As for her son, she wants him to be strong but also caring, truthful, honest and have a high emotional IQ. 

"It’s everything a woman wants in a man, and yet we don’t teach it to our boys," she said to Vogue. "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."

PHOTO: Vogue

Right now, Beyoncé said she is in a place of gratitude, growth and acceptance. She is not into structure and being boxed in because she, like many of us, likes to be free. 

"I’m not alive unless I am creating something. I’m not happy if I’m not creating, if I’m not dreaming, if I’m not creating a dream and making it into something real. I’m not happy if I’m not improving, evolving, moving forward, inspiring, teaching and learning… I’ve worked long and hard to be able to get to a place where I can choose to surround myself with what fulfills and inspires me."

Read Beyoncé’s full Vogue cover story here.

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