Beyoncé has famously taken over Vogue magazine for its September 2018 issue, hiring the photographer of her choice (Tyler Mitchell, the first-ever African American photographer to shoot a Vogue cover), creative directing her look (she decided to strip away all the hair extensions and makeup), and even communicating her story in her own words.
The end result is stunningly raw and candid, both in terms of imagery and the writing itself. The singer got extremely real in regard to pregnancy and body acceptance, in particular, sharing the story of her rather troublesome pregnancy with Rumi and Sir, as well as her journey to body acceptance after giving birth. Read the full excerpt below, and see the stunning photographs as shared on Beyoncé's Instagram account.
"After the birth of my first child, I believed in the things society said about how my body should look. 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. Looking back, that was crazy. I was still breastfeeding when I performed the Revel shows in Atlantic City in 2012. After the twins, I approached things very differently.
"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. 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.
"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."