Beyoncé is the queen of the free world, so it’s no surprise that she’s covering the March issue of Vogue, appearing in a multi-page photo spread and accompanying interview in which she says a lot about very little. It’s only natural that a celebrity of her caliber would be reticent when it comes to sharing details about her personal life, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen another star who could answer endless questions with such extreme vagueness. Whatever, it’s Beyoncé. She can do what she wants.
Of course, the media loves to concentrate on the experience of motherhood and its necessary softening fact on the women who choose to bear children. They loved their careers before, sure, but they pop one out and suddenly they are softer, less abrasive, more womanly. It’s bullshit and has never been the case for Bey, who was back on her grind just weeks after giving birth to Blue Ivy. Still, that didn’t stop Vogue from desperately trying to push the image of a cooing Beyoncé home to us. Newsflash: you can love your child and your profession. The two are not mutually exclusive.
But outside this little room, there’s a gentle, sweet, unmistakable noise. The soft cry of a baby. And though Beyoncé has started a thought about her new album, she pauses and listens and just visibly melts. And in this moment, it becomes clear that while her career and her business are vital and essential, the life of Beyoncé Knowles has forever changed.
“She’s about to go to sleep,” Beyoncé says, beaming.
She, of course, is Blue Ivy Carter, born to Beyoncé and her husband, the hip-hop mogul Shawn Carter, a.k.a. Jay-Z, on January 7, 2012, in New York City, to the breathless rush of public attention that usually attends a royal birth. Now the curly-haired one-year-old is Beyoncé’s light, her constant companion, the adorable darling making cameos on her Tumblr. “She’s my road dog,” Beyoncé says. “She’s my homey, my best friend.”
Like, I get it – she loves her kid. Of course she does. Most parents who want the role are absolutely nuts about their little ones and think the world shines out of their baby assholes. It’s natural! But I don’t think Beyoncé is suddenly any less the fierce presence she once was just because an infant swam down her vagina. On the other hand, the lady herself does admit that labour was a bit of a freaky-deaky experience:
“I felt very maternal around eight months,” she remembers. “And I thought I couldn’t become any more until I saw the baby. . .. But it happened during my labor because I had a very strong connection with my child. I felt like when I was having contractions, I envisioned my child pushing through a very heavy door. And I imagined this tiny infant doing all the work, so I couldn’t think about my own pain. . . We were talking. I know it sounds crazy, but I felt a communication.”
That doesn’t sound crazy – obviously pushing a human being out of your body is gonna put you in a zone that those who haven’t gone through that process won’t really “get” – not in a fundamental way, but just in an experiential one. Like, I’ve never been hang-gliding, so I can’t really talk shit about what the wind feels like in your face as you float down to earth, etc. You get my point. I just wish magazines would stop trying to get people coo over motherhood and belittling experiences outside of it/that came before.
Anyway, let’s just look at the pretty pictures and switch off our minds. Photos from Beyoncé’s Vogue shoot below.