Beyoncé features on the cover of Vogue‘s famed “September issue,” with the singer given unprecedented editorial control over both her image and words for the feature. In the issue, Beyoncé provided an in-her-own-words take on subjects ranging from Coachella and her pregnancy with twins to her roots and the OTR II Tour.
“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,” Beyoncé said. “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 [Tyler Mitchell].”
In her first major interview since giving birth to twins Sir and Rumi in July 2017, Beyoncé spoke candidly about the pregnancy and body image.
“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,” she said.
“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.” (Soon after the interview was published, “FUPA” began trending on Twitter.)
Beyoncé also cited her and Jay-Z’s sold-out performance at Berlin’s Olympiastadion – “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” in 1936 – as a high point of her current OTR II tour.
As for her instant-classic Coachella performances, Beyoncé revealed that the headlining gigs were partly inspired by the black national anthem.
“I had a clear vision for Coachella. I was so specific because I’d seen it, I’d heard it, and it was already written inside of me. One day I was randomly singing the black national anthem to Rumi while putting her to sleep,” Beyoncé said.
“I started humming it to her every day. In the show at the time I was working on a version of the anthem with these dark minor chords and stomps and belts and screams. After a few days of humming the anthem, I realized I had the melody wrong. I was singing the wrong anthem. One of the most rewarding parts of the show was making that change.”