Photo: @beyonce official instagram
On Vogue’s highly-anticipated September cover, which was released today, Beyoncé stuns wearing an opulent flower crown and little makeup. In the issue, the megastar and mom of three pens a powerful personal essay on pregnancy, postpartum body acceptance, and motherhood, among other things. Like other celebrities, including Chrissy Teigen, Serena Williams, and Blake Lively, she hopes to empower women to embrace the effects pregnancy has on the female body while shifting the collective conscience to bounce back, writing "I think it’s important for women and men to see and appreciate the beauty in their natural bodies."
“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,” she wrote. “Looking back, that was crazy. I was still breastfeeding when I performed the Revel shows in Atlantic City in 2012.”
She goes on to explain how she approached things differently the second time around, with twins Rumi and Sir: “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.”
Photo: Tyler Mitchell/Vogue
Beyoncé also discusses the difficulties she experienced during the pregnancy last year, revealing that she was “swollen from toxemia,” also known as preeclampsia, a condition defined by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, most often the liver and kidneys, often causing excess protein in the urine and swelling. (Kim Kardashian also battled preeclampsia during her pregnancy with daughter North.)
“I was 218 pounds the day I gave birth to Rumi and Sir,” she said. “My health and my babies’ health were in danger, so I had an emergency C-section.” Following the C-section, Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z, who she calls a “soldier,” spent several weeks in the NICU. “I was in survival mode and did not grasp it all until months later,” she continued, explaining the connection she now feels toward parents who have been through such a troubling experience.
After the birth, Beyoncé took many months off to regain her physical and mental health before prepping for Coachella. And while she admits that she has more baby weight to shed, she is embracing her postpartum body and will do it on her own terms: “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.”
Motherhood is something Beyoncé is undeniably thankful for. “I’m grateful for every scar…” she told the publication. “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. I now feel so much more beautiful, so much sexier, so much more interesting. And so much more powerful.”