The music mogul and proud mom admittedly set unrealistic standards for herself when recovering from the birth of eldest daughter, Blue Ivy. The second time around, however, she knew better.
“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,” says @Beyonce in our September issue cover story. “I now feel so much more beautiful, so much sexier, so much more interesting. And so much more powerful.” Inspired by @Beyonce’s words, 11 women share the advice they would give their 20-something selves; tap the link in our bio to read. Photographed by @tylersphotos, fashion editor @tonnegood, Vogue, September 2018.
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“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.”
The R&B diva also revealed that she was on bed rest for a month before giving birth to her two youngest via c-section.
“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.”
She went on to thank her husband, JAY-Z, for supporting her through the physically trying experience.
“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.”
Mrs. Carter has learned to embrace her “fuller” body since giving birth as well, saying her kids and hubby make it easy.
“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.”
In the end, Bey knows she can get her slimmer frame back when she’s ready, but is enjoying her natural curves in the meantime.
“I think it’s important for women and men to see and appreciate the beauty in their natural bodies. 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.”
Read her full Vogue cover story here.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.