Beyoncé is on the cover of Vogue’s September issue, and they just released an article “in her own words” (as told to writer Clover Hope) where Bey gets candid on childbirth, her ancestry, and her art. But before you read all her thoughts, you might be struck by the stunning photos the magazine captured. Turns out, that natural glow she’s exuding is just pure HER, as she “stripped away the wigs and hair extensions and used little makeup” in order to show off the beauty of the natural body.
Oh, also? It may have helped that she made a point of working with a very special photographer…
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. That is why I wanted to work with this brilliant 23-year-old photographer Tyler Mitchell.
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.
And while you take a moment to chew on the fact that this is the FIRST. EVER. VOGUE. COVER. shot by an African American photographer, I’m gonna cue up a tweet from Boots Riley that also addresses the idea that “black people” don’t sell:
re: the international distribution of #SorryToBotherYou :— Boots Riley (@BootsRiley) August 4, 2018
Even tho we'r outperforming a gang of other movies, distributors r claiming "Black movies" dont do well internationally and r treating it as such. There'r films that bombed here, that theyr distributing. Let em know wsup
(Seriously, go watch Sorry To Bother You and support a mind-blowing movie from a first time director! Ok, hopping off my soapbox now…)
One of the reasons Beyoncé seemed to want to celebrate her natural form is because she’s still coming to appreciate her new post-baby curves. She opened up about the changes to her body after childbirth, noting that she pressured herself to lose all the baby weight in just three months after delivering Blue Ivy but took a different approach following the difficult and dangerous birth of her twins, Rumi and Sir. She weighed 218 pounds and spent over a month on bed rest because of toxemia when she had an emergency C-section — and then she explains just what goes down in a C-section, in case you weren’t fully aware: “Some of your organs are shifted temporarily, and in rare cases, removed temporarily during delivery.” So she took her time healing and recovering from what was not only a physically damaging but also emotionally exhausting ordeal. And now? She’s doing JUST FINE, THANK YOU.
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.
Just so we’re all clear, FUPA stands for Fat Upper… let’s go with Pelvic Area. Go ahead and Google it if you want the more R-rated options. And I don’t know what makes me happier, thinking about how very different her “beast zone” is to my own (20 mins of physical activity followed by cookies) or thinking about her budding friendship with her “little FUPA.” This woman is at once the least and most relatable woman on the planet.
She also discusses motherhood and what she wants to teach her children, and what she has learned by coming to terms with her own “lineage of broken male-female relationships, abuse of power, and mistrust.” But it’s what she says about her own life journey so far that frankly makes me want to take up cross-stitching so I can put this on a really big damn pillow and hug it:
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.
Wine and Queen Bey: getting better with age.
Header Image Source: Vogue