On Monday, the historic Vogue cover and interview with Beyoncé was released online. There was plenty of wisdom in the story, but Beyoncé has a message for her daughters that's particularly powerful. The artist spoke about teaching her children any life is possible, and to not let anyone else dictate who or what they can be. She also talked about learning these lessons herself, and how her personal and professional ups and downs shaped her.
Beyoncé explained to Vogue,
"I’ve been through hell and back, and I’m grateful for every scar. I have experienced betrayals and heartbreaks in many forms. I have had disappointments in business partnerships as well as personal ones, and they all left me feeling neglected, lost, and vulnerable. Through it all I have learned to laugh and cry and grow."
The biggest guiding principle she hopes her daughters — Rumi and Blue — can learn from her is that, no matter what, they will write their own rules. Beyonce noted it's a guiding principle her own mother, Tina Lawson, gave her.
"My mother taught me the importance not just of being seen but of seeing myself. As the mother of two girls, it’s important to me that they see themselves too — in books, films, and on runways," Bey said. "It’s important to me that they see themselves as CEOs, as bosses, and that they know they can write the script for their own lives — that they can speak their minds and they have no ceiling."
If any star has experience breaking down barriers and setting new precedent in popular culture, it's Beyoncé. The magazine feature itself is groundbreaking — the cover is the first in Vogue history to be photographed by a black photographer, making it yet another history-making moment. The singer spoke about how when her career began, she was told that it would be hard to get on magazine covers because black artists wouldn't sell, and she was determined to prove that notion wrong.
This is why it's important for her not only to appear on the cover of the biggest issue of the year, but also to use the opportunity to elevate the work of a black photographer. "Until there is a mosaic of perspectives coming from different ethnicities behind the lens, we will continue to have a narrow approach and view of what the world actually looks like," she said. "That is why I wanted to work with this brilliant 23-year-old photographer Tyler Mitchell." Instead of a conventional interview, the magazine also put the feature in her own words, as told to writer Clover Hope.
Beyoncé has experience being a leader in her field and beyond. She talked about how she owes so much to the black women who led the way in music, and how she hopes to leave behind a similar legacy. "Imagine if someone hadn’t given a chance to the brilliant women who came before me: Josephine Baker, Nina Simone, Eartha Kitt, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, and the list goes on," she wrote. "They opened the doors for me, and I pray that I’m doing all I can to open doors for the next generation of talent."
Over the course of her career, the singer has made a place in culture for new voices and perspectives in art, but she hopes her daughters will feel similarly empowered to find their place in the world. In the interview, she talked about how she doesn't want their lives to have any boundaries. Beyoncé said,
"They don’t have to be a certain type or fit into a specific category. They don’t have to be politically correct, as long as they’re authentic, respectful, compassionate, and empathetic. They can explore any religion, fall in love with any race, and love who they want to love."
Throughout her career, Queen B has fought for her place at the top of the music world. She hopes that her children will be able to look at her struggles and successes, and know anything is possible. She followed in the footsteps of her mother and the generations of black women who created music and art before her. Surely the next generation of artists, and her children, will similarly be inspired by her life and work.