Every Beyoncé’s media appearance is an event. The global superstar has, overtime, mastered the art of controlling her public image and the direction she wants to move towards, in her career. Every project, media interview (which are super rare), song release or a launch of the latest collection of her clothing line, Ivy Park, are carefully crafted, planned and part of a bigger picture: an aesthetically cohesive feast (with a solid PR and marketing plan)!
Beyoncé graced the covers (3 different covers were shot) of the Harper’s Bazaar ‘s “Icon Issue” and talked about lessons learned in her 4 decades (Queen Bey is hitting the big 4.0 very soon), her inspiration found in her roots and upbringing and how she keeps her inner-self private.
Here are 3 lessons and takeaways from her interview:
Most of her projects have a “Black History lesson” moment
In one of the covers Beyoncé is wearing an all-denim piece of her Ivy Park forth-coming collection, Ivy Park Rodeo. She was inspired by her Texan upbringing and the forgotten history of Black cowboys:
“This collection is a mixture of my childhood growing up in Texas and a bit of American history. I grew up going to the Houston rodeo every year. It was this amazing diverse and multicultural experience where there was something for every member of the family, including great performances, Houston-style fried Snickers, and fried turkey legs. One of my inspirations came from the overlooked history of the American Black cowboy. Many of them were originally called cowhands, who experienced great discrimination and were often forced to work with the worst, most temperamental horses. They took their talents and formed the Soul Circuit. Through time, these Black rodeos showcased incredible performers and helped us reclaim our place in western history and culture. We were inspired by the culture and swag of the Houston rodeo. We combined classic elements with the athletic wear of IVY PARK x Adidas, adding our own spin, monogrammed denim, chaps, and cowhide.”
Most of her recent projects contain little gems that are a tribute to Black history events, references and cultures.
She turned 40 and yet she is just getting started!
Beyoncé started singing and dancing at age 7. By 10 she was taking part in talents competition, shows and recording music. She was propelled to international stardom at 16, with the commercial success of Destiny’s child first hit single “No, No, No” in 1997. In an industry where there is an expiry date on women’s career, beauty and dreams, she wants to break the rules now.
“My wish is for my 40s to be fun and full of freedom. I want to feel the same freedom I feel on stage every day of my life. I want to explore aspects of myself I haven’t had time to discover and to enjoy my husband and my children. I want to travel without working. I want this next decade to be about celebration, joy, and giving and receiving love. I want to give all the love I have to the people who love me back.
I’ve done so much in 40 years that I just want to enjoy my life. It’s hard going against the grain, but being a small part of some of the overdue shifts happening in the world feels very rewarding. I want to continue to work to dismantle systemic imbalances. I want to continue to turn these industries upside down. I plan to create businesses outside of music. I have learned that I have to keep on dreaming. One of my favorite quotes is from the inventor Charles Kettering. It goes “Our imagination is the only limit to what we can hope to have in the future.”
I want to show that you can have fun and have purpose, be respectful and speak your mind. You can be both elegant and a provocateur. You can be curvy and still be a fashion icon. I wish this freedom for every person. I have paid my dues and followed every rule for decades, so now I can break the rules that need to be broken. My wish for the future is to continue to do everything everyone thinks I can’t do.
On the importance on setting boundaries between her public and private persona to protect her inner self
“We live in a world with few boundaries and a lot of access. There are so many internet therapists, comment critics, and experts with no expertise. (…). One day I decided I wanted to be like Sade and Prince. I wanted the focus to be on my music, because if my art isn’t strong enough or meaningful enough to keep people interested and inspired, then I’m in the wrong business. My music, my films, my art, my message—that should be enough.
Throughout my career, I’ve been intentional about setting boundaries between my stage persona and my personal life. My family and friends often forget the side of me that is the beast in stilettos until they are watching me perform. It can be easy to lose yourself very quickly in this industry. It takes your spirit and light, then spits you out. I’ve seen it countless times, not only with celebrities but also producers, directors, executives, etc. It’s not for everyone. Before I started, I decided that I’d only pursue this career if my self-worth was dependent on more than celebrity success. I’ve surrounded myself with honest people who I admire, who have their own lives and dreams and are not dependent on me. People I can grow and learn from and vice versa. In this business, so much of your life does not belong to you unless you fight for it. I’ve fought to protect my sanity and my privacy because the quality of my life depended on it. A lot of who I am is reserved for the people I love and trust. Those who don’t know me and have never met me might interpret that as being closed off. Trust, the reason those folks don’t see certain things about me is because my Virgo ass does not want them to see it…. It’s not because it doesn’t exist!
Read the full interview here to discover more gems like: what each decade taught her, the sacrifices she made to focus on her craft and develop her skills, the community of women who inspire her and how the quarantine helped her adopt healthy routines.
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