Beyoncé’s September Vogue cover was making headlines before it even hit the shelves, when it was reported that the singer hand-picked 23-year-old photographer Tyler Mitchell to shoot both the covers and editorial pictures for the magazine’s iconic September issue. This made Mitchell the first black person ever to have this honor, and made it clear that Beyoncé was having an unprecedented level of control over the issue, including the article and photo captions. Now, the Huffington Post reports on some interesting details from the magazine itself.
In the article, Beyoncé talks to writer Clover Hope about a variety of different topics, including her emergency c-section for her twins, working with body acceptance, and being told at one point that black people didn’t sell magazine covers. She also explained the mentality behind one of the most striking visual decisions she made during the issue: to go nearly make-up free for the entire shoot. “I think it’s important for women and men to see and appreciate the beauty in their natural bodies,” she told Vogue. “That’s why I stripped away the wigs and hair extensions and used little makeup for this shoot.”
Regarding the c-section, “I was 218 pounds the day I gave birth to Rumi and Sir,” Beyoncé told the magazine. “I was swollen from toxemia and had been on bed rest for over a month. My health and my babies’ health were in danger, so I had an emergency C-section. We spent many weeks in the NICU.” She mentioned that while she was able to recover, unlike with her first child, she was in no rush to try and lose the pregnancy weight.
Another editorial decision that she shed light on was how Tyler Mitchell was chosen to shoot the cover. “When I first started, 21 years ago, I was told that it was hard for me to get onto covers of magazines because black people did not sell,” she told Vogue. “Clearly that has been proven a myth. Not only is an African American on the cover of the most important month for Vogue, this is the first ever Vogue cover shot by an African American photographer.”
She added: “There are so many cultural and societal barriers to entry that I like to do what I can to level the playing field, to present a different point of view for people who may feel like their voices don’t matter.”