It goes without saying that Beyoncé is a phenomenal woman. Not only has she created cultural movements with her award-winning album Lemonade, but she's also a champion of human rights and regularly uses her voice to call for justice. She's an incredible performer and mother, and we cling to every single word she says because, well, she's Beyoncé. Now she's teaching us all a thing or two about why it's okay to love yourself and be imperfect. Keep scrolling to see the four things we learnt (and you should too) from her series of essays in the September issue of Vogue U.S.
It's Okay to Take Time to Heal
We live in a time where we're expected to be "on" all the time. We wear our "I worked all weekend" badge like it's something we should be proud of. We fight through illness and battle our way through work even when we should be bedbound. We don't even pause for thought when something bad happens because it could be considered a sign of weakness. Beyoncé mentions that after she gave birth to Rumi and Sir Carter (via emergency C-section), she was put on bed rest for a month. After the birth, she felt different (understandably, she'd just had a major surgery) and realised that she needed time to heal and recover.
She didn't put pressure on herself to lose the baby weight and get back to being busy like she did after her first pregnancy. Bey was patient, and we could all learn a thing or two from her about that.
Appreciate Your Beauty for What It Is
Throughout her feature, Beyoncé mentions the importance of loving your body for what it is. She's appreciative and accepting of her curvier body for what it's given her. She says that it's crucial for people 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."
Every day, we're faced with hundreds of edited images online and on social media. Sometimes, it can be hard to remember that comparing yourself to others can be detrimental to your mental health and self-esteem. Be more like Bey and appreciate you for you. In essence, relish in your natural beauty.
Bodies Change, and That's Fine
Some weeks, you work out five times, eat a healthy balanced diet and feel great. Other weeks, life happens and you need to pick going to sleep early over going to the gym, and that's okay. Don't get down on yourself for making perfectly acceptable choices. So what if your body doesn't look the way you'd like it to right now? You'll get there. There's no need to rush the process.
"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," says Beyoncé.
Here's an idea: What if we just allowed our bodies to do their thing? When you're ready to go into "beast zone," then feel free to work out as much as you'd like. But when you need time away from the gym, don't beat yourself up. Bey wouldn't.
Opening Doors for Others Outside Our Own Realms Is So Important
Beyoncé's September feature is the first Vogue cover to be shot by an African-American photographer, and it's all credit to Beyoncé. She handpicked 23-year-old Tyler Mitchell to take the breathtaking photos of her for the magazine and addressed it in "Opening Doors," an essay within the issue.
"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 liked 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," says Beyoncé.
She goes onto speak about how if those in powerful positions continue to hire and cast people who look and sound like them and who come from the same neighbourhoods, then they'll never have a greater understanding of experiences. This strong message rings true of so many cultures and working environments. All voices count, and we should all be opening doors for everyone—not just for people who are like us.
What did you think of Vogue's September issue interview with Beyoncé? Come and tell us in The British Beauty Line.
Opening Images: James Devaney/Getty