Beyoncé talks breaking Black stereotypes and establishing her legacy

'I feel many aspects of that younger, less evolved Beyoncé could never f--k with the woman I am today. Haaa!'
August 10, 2021 12:47 p.m. EST
Harpers Bazaar/Campbell Addy Harpers Bazaar/Campbell Addy

If you felt a shaking of the ground, a trembling in the air, a chill down your spine at any point this morning, we can easily attribute it to Beyoncé. Trending on social all night and morning, the star graces this month's cover(s) of Harper's Bazaar looking as stunning as always.

Not only that, but to coincide with the magazine's release, Beyoncé also dropped a teaser video for the latest Adidas x Ivy Park collection, which is deliciously western-inspired. Not only does it feature her highness in denim chaps, but it puts the spotlight on Black cowboys and cowgirls. And it features a series of famous faces, including rodeo champ and actor Glynn Turman (whose ranch is where the star shot the video),and rappers The Originals and Monaleo, who both hail from her hometown of Houston.

Ivy Park Rodeo will include 58 womens’ and unisex pieces, along with new children's sizes, 13 accessories and five pairs of shoes ranging between $45 USD and $200 USD, and drops on August 19 and 20.

The news, however, does not stop there for Beyoncé: she and husband JAY-Z have also just been named the new faces of Tiffany & Co., which was acquired earlier this year by LVMH and is relaunching. She also – mercifully – is working on new music.

Ruminating on how far she's come ahead of turning 40 this September, Beyoncé wrote for Harper's, "I sacrificed a lot of things and ran from any possible distraction. I felt as a young Black woman that I couldn’t mess up. I felt the pressure from the outside and their eyes watching for me to trip or fail. I couldn’t let my family down after all the sacrifices they made for me and the girls. That meant I was the most careful, professional teenager and I grew up fast. I wanted to break all of the stereotypes of the Black superstar, whether falling victim to drugs or alcohol or the absurd misconception that Black women were angry. I knew I was given this amazing opportunity and felt like I had one shot. I refused to mess it up, but I had to give up a lot."

She shares how she spent her 20s building the foundation for her career and "establishing my legacy" – no kidding – but in working so hard to be a commercial success, she was pushed to her limits. In starting her own company, Parkwood Entertainment (which is a conglomerate consisting of a label, production and management company) at 27, then, she was able to take more control, manage herself and "put art and creativity first." That's included hiring women in key roles and younger, creative visionaries.

That's also meant always following her own vision, including leading with black and white imagery despite "the research" showing her fans didn't prefer it, and even learning to edit video herself in Final Cut Pro.

"I’ve spent so many years trying to better myself and improve whatever I’ve done that I’m at a point where I no longer need to compete with myself," she writes. "I have no interest in searching backwards. The past is the past. I feel many aspects of that younger, less evolved Beyoncé could never f--k with the woman I am today. Haaa!"

As for her personal life? Well, she writes, "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... 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"

Oh, and by the way, she also notes that Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams are still her best friends, while her sister Solange remains her greatest, "dopest" inspiration. We love to see it. 

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