Brooklyn White
August 08, 2018 1:56 pm

When I saw that Beyoncé would be covering the September issue of Vogue, I was ecstatic. I’m a longtime fan of her work (and of her being, in general), and I know how picky she is about magazine features. Just knowing that she’d be giving us some sort of exclusive glimpse into her world—even if only through photographs—was enough for me.

Beyoncé hasn’t given an interview to an outlet in a while, possibly because people love to analyze her words with a fine-tooth comb, so I completely understand her reasoning. Why share your truest thoughts with the public when many will pick your ideas apart before they even finish reading? Why make yourself vulnerable when you’re one of the most respected entertainers in history, and you owe the world nothing? That’s why, again, I wasn’t expecting any dialogue from Mrs. Carter’s Vogue spread.

But instead, Beyoncé didn’t only give us an interview—she gave us Black history and raw honesty.

Her cover marked the first time that a Black photographer (Tyler Mitchell) had shot the esteemed magazine’s cover in its 126 year history, which is so sad. Exclusion and racism is a discussion for another time though. What meant the most to me were Beyoncé’s words on motherhood, love, and having respect for your body.

"I was 218 pounds the day I gave birth to Rumi and Sir."

I’m currently nine months pregnant with my first child, and that sentence hit me like a sack of bricks.

Before reading Beyoncé’s words in Vogue, I had gone to a doctor’s appointment where I learned that I weighed 183 pounds. I’ve gained 20+ pounds since the beginning of this pregnancy, and it had been bothering me. I’ve noticed how my diet and food intake has changed, and as someone who has previously struggled with an eating disorder, I can admit that I have been critical of my body. I work hard to silence dark voices telling me that my body is shameful. I also have a great support system. But there have been times when I’ve craved some bigger validation that I’m fine the way I am. Beyoncé reassured me.

"My husband was a soldier and such a strong support system for me. I am proud to have been a witness to his strength and evolution as a man, a best friend, and a father. I was in survival mode and did not grasp it all until months later."

The father of my child and I are not together. In retrospect, I see that we were never meant to be together and that’s fine. I’m much more at peace than I once was.

Hearing people’s negative thoughts on women who aren’t in relationships or married to the father(s) of their children was not helpful at all. It used to hurt my feelings because I knew that there was nothing that I could have done to piece together a union between me and my child’s father, nor could I change people’s perceptions of a single mother.

One summer day, a guy I had met five or six years ago sent me a Facebook message. He asked if I’d be interested in grabbing lunch and talking about music. I wondered if it was a date, but I wasn’t sure. We’ve been inseparable since that day. I guess it was a date.

He has been there through tears and irrational fears, doctor’s appointments, and family dinners. I am grateful to have him. He stepped into my life and showed me love when others were either afraid to—or just didn’t want to.

"I think it’s important for women and men to see and appreciate the beauty in their natural bodies."

Late Tuesday night, I started having contractions. My daughter isn’t due for a few weeks, but I was having Braxton Hicks contractions to prepare me for labor. I was in bed, naked, and on all fours as I focused on breathing. I didn’t have on a drop of makeup and my hair was sweated out from the day’s activities. It wasn’t a glamorous moment, but my body was helping me get ready for one of the best moments of my life. Beyoncé let me know that there is glory in my natural body. I’m due in three weeks, so I’ll be meeting that personified glory soon.

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