The much-awaited cover of the September 2018 issue of Vogue has finally arrived, and the rumors are true: The cover star is, indeed, Beyoncé — shot by 23-year-old Tyler Mitchell, an up-and-coming black photographer. On the cover, the singer looks positively queenlike in a selection of Louis Vuitton, Valentino, and Gucci ensembles and elaborate headdresses, glowing in minimal makeup. (She explains in the accompanying story that she "stripped away the wigs and hair extensions and used little makeup" to highlight the beauty of natural bodies.) As if the stunning cover and accompanying images weren't enough, Bey opened up further inside the issue, in a first-person account about paving the way for "the next generation of talents," owning her confidence and power, and, perhaps most poignantly, learning to embrace and be kind to her body after giving birth to twins last year.
Though she says she succumbed to societal pressures that encourage women to "bounce back" after giving birth after she welcomed daughter Blue Ivy in January 2012, Beyoncé noted to Vogue, she "approached things very differently" after Sir and Rumi arrived in June 2017. "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 said, adding that she now has a "connection" to other parents who have been through similar experiences.
"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," she said. "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."
And though that Coachella prep — plus, presumably, her workouts ahead of her current On the Run II tour with husband Jay-Z — changed her body, Bey said that the wisdom she gained after Sir and Rumi's birth has stuck with her. "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," she said. "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."
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