For Vogue's September issue, Beyoncé absolutely graced the magazine's cover while also delivering a rare interview where she revealed a bevy of personal details. For the cover, Bey — who was reportedly given unprecedented control — took over photos inside the issue, photo captions, and enlisted 23-year-old Tyler Mitchell to shoot the cover, making him the first black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover in its 126 year history.
For the interview, Bey sat down with Clover Hope and went into detail about her pregnancy with twins Rumi and Sir, motherhood, body acceptance, and her ancestry.
Check the full interview here and peep some things we learned below.
1. Sir & Rumi were born via C-section.
While Beyoncé has mostly kept Sir & Rumi away from the spotlight, she opened up for the first time about the birth of twins in the Vogue interview. Bey revealed that she had to undergo a C-section and detailed the stresses she dealt with after the surgery. After taking six months off, she began preparing for Coachella.
2. Her attitude towards her post-pregnancy body has changed.
After the birth of Blue Ivy, Bey claimed that she fell into society's standards of how her body should look, sharing that she pressured herself to quickly lose her post-pregnancy weight. "I put pressure on myself to lose all the baby weight in three months, and scheduled a small tour to assure I would do it," Bey said. "Looking back, that was crazy. I was still breastfeeding when I performed the Revel shows in Atlantic City in 2012." After the birth of Sir and Rumi, Beyoncé took her recovery process much slower, focusing on the health of herself and her children before returning to work.
3. She temporarily went vegan.
Along with taking more time off after the birth of the twins, Beyoncé also revealed that she changed her diet temporarily, going vegan and giving up coffee and alcohol, as well as fruit drinks.
4. She promoted self-love and body acceptance.
Bey opened up about the temporary (and sometimes permanent) changes to a woman's body after enduring a pregnancy. She also shared that men and women need to appreciate their natural bodies, and that she promoted those ideas in the magazine shoot. "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."
5. She traced back her ancestry.
Touching on her familial history, Beyoncé explained that her lineage is filled with broken male-female relationships. In order to better understand this, she decided to look up her ancestry, which led her to discover that her roots include a slave owner that fell in love with and married a slave. "I researched my ancestry recently and learned that I come from a slave owner who fell in love with and married a slave," Beyoncé said. "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."
6. Performing at the Olympastadion in Berlin was one of her most memorable OTR II tour moments.
While speaking on her On the Run II tour with husband JAY-Z, Beyoncé shared that their performance at Berlin's Olympastadion was one of the most memorable moments because of the venue's historical importance. The site was where Jesse Owens won four gold medals in the face of racism during the 1936 Olympic Games. "This [the 1936 Olympics] 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. Less than 90 years later, two black people performed there to a packed, sold-out stadium."
7. She called on Tyler Mitchell to add perspectives of different ethnicity from behind the lens.
Bey spoke about her impact on pop culture, as well as her impact on Vogue, talking about enlisting Tyler Mitchell — the magazine's first black cover photographer — to shoot the cover. She said she wanted to open doors for younger artists and add the perspective of different ethnicities behind the lens.
"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."
Thumbnail image courtesy of Larry Busacca/Getty Images.