Vogue’s anticipated September issue with Beyoncé on the cover has finally been revealed. The cover, along with editorial images were shot by 23-year old Tyler Mitchell, who is also the first black photographer to shoot a cover for Vogue magazine in its 126 year history. The images capture Beyoncé with a real sense of feminine beauty. She glows in every shot. She wanted to do away with wearing hair extensions and wigs and used less makeup for this shoot. She wanted a more natural looking image.
This issue is so important because not only does it put a spotlight on the creativity of a rising young photographer, but Beyoncé also reveals things that many women can relate to. She spoke candidly about being 218 pounds the day she gave birth to her twins, Rumi and Sir. Her pregnancy had complications which led to bed rest for a month. She told Vogue that she suffered from toxemia, a condition often referred to as blood poisoning, that affects pregnant women and could be life threatening to both the mother and unborn baby. Having spoken about this brings awareness to the issues some women are facing when it comes to maternal health, especially in the black community in the U.S. where women are dying in higher numbers than other groups.
Beyoncé also spoke about caving in to society’s pressures to lose the baby weight when she had her first child, Blue Ivy. She worked hard to get her body back and now reflects on how she should have given herself time. Now she says that it’s important for us to see and appreciate the beauty in our natural bodies. She told Vogue, “I needed time to heal, to recover. During my recovery, I gave myself self-love and self-care, and I embraced being curvier.”
Women worldwide are often left feeling bad about themselves after they give birth. Just look at all the pictures of women in media after they miraculously lose the weight just months and sometimes weeks after giving birth. It can be quite disheartening for some women who feel like they have failed simply because they retain weight.
As one of the most influential women in the world, Beyoncé speaking about embracing her curves and giving her body time could perhaps influence other women to accept the beauty in who they are after giving birth to another human being. Women sometimes forget that you’re a warrior who has brought life into the world. Allow your body to take the time to heal. It took 9 months for your body to birth a child, so why should women expect the body to change in a short time.