MORE PHOTOS: Beyonce in GQ, “I now know that, yes, I am powerful. I’m more powerful than my mind can even digest and understand.”
I should have known it was Terry Richardson behind Beyonce’s February cover of GQ magazine. Ooooooof course. Now we’re getting our hands on the rest of the pictures that go with the cover, and they are very Terry. I’ve read some criticisms online, saying Beyonce shouldn’t be posing like this now that she’s a mom. I don’t think I’d go that far, I think she looks amazing, really. Her body is insane. In fact, I’m really not bothered by these pictures really at all, just the photographer behind the lens. Creeps me right out.
Anyhoo, here are some bits from the GQ interview. Many outlets are calling 2013 the year of Beyonce. It’s going to be. Besides new ‘Destiny’s Child’ music coming out this year, she’ll also be the Half Time show in February’s Super Bowl (the only part of the Super Bowl I actually watch).
You’re here to talk about her big post-baby comeback (Blue Ivy, her daughter with Jay-Z, is a year old), which Beyoncé is marking in classic Beyoncé fashion: with a Hydra-headed pop-cultural blitzkrieg. This month, two weeks after she headlines the halftime show at Super Bowl XLVII, she will premiere an HBO “documentary”—more like a visual autobiography—about herself and her family that she financed, directed, produced, narrated, and stars in. This is a woman, after all, who’s sold 75 million albums, just signed a $50 million endorsement deal with Pepsi (her flawless visage will festoon actual cans of soda), and will soon embark on a world tour to promote her fifth solo album, as yet untitled, due out as early as April.
How has she gotten this far?
“I worked so hard during my childhood to meet this goal: By the time I was 30 years old, I could do what I want,” she says. “I’ve reached that. I feel very fortunate to be in that position. But I’ve sacrificed a lot of things, and I’ve worked harder than probably anyone I know, at least in the music industry. So I just have to remind myself that I deserve it.”
Beyonce has recorded (literally) almost every moment of her life since 2005:
“Stop pretending that I have it all together,” she tells herself in a particularly revealing video clip, looking straight into the camera. “If I’m scared, be scared, allow it, release it, move on. I think I need to go listen to ‘Make Love to Me’ and make love to my husband.”
Every single time she performs, she re-watches her performance afterwards, and critiques herself:
“One of the reasons I connect to the Super Bowl is that I approach my shows like an athlete,” she says now. “You know how they sit down and watch whoever they’re going to play and study themselves? That’s how I treat this. I watch my performances, and I wish I could just enjoy them, but I see the light that was late. I see, ‘Oh God, that hair did not work.’ Or ‘I should never do that again.’ I try to perfect myself. I want to grow, and I’m always eager for new information.”
She loves being onstage:
I love my job, but it’s more than that: I need it,” she says. “Because before I gave birth, it was the only time in my life, all throughout my life, that I was lost.” She means this in a good way: When her brain turns off, it is, frankly, a relief. After drilling herself, repeating every move so many times, locking them in, she can then afford not to think. “It’s like a blackout. When I’m onstage, I don’t know what the crap happens. I am gone.”
Her sister, Solagne, on Beyonce:
“I have very, very early-on memories of her rehearsing on her own in her room. I specifically remember her taking a line out of a song or a routine and just doing it over and over and over again until it was perfect and it was strong. At age 10, when everybody else was ready to say, ‘Okay, I’m tired, let’s take a break,’ she wanted to continue—to ace it and overcome it.”
On being an independent woman, making equal money to men in the business:
“You know, equality is a myth, and for some reason, everyone accepts the fact that women don’t make as much money as men do. I don’t understand that. Why do we have to take a backseat?” she says in her film, which begins with her 2011 decision to sever her business relationship with her father. “I truly believe that women should be financially independent from their men. And let’s face it, money gives men the power to run the show. It gives men the power to define value. They define what’s sexy. And men define what’s feminine. It’s ridiculous.”
Now she says, “You know, when I was writing the Destiny’s Child songs, it was a big thing to be that young and taking control. And the label at the time didn’t know that we were going to be that successful, so they gave us all control. And I got used to it. It is my goal in life to be that example. And I think it will, hopefully, trickle down, and more artists will see that. Because it only makes sense. It’s only fair.”
Beyonce loves her throne:
“I now know that, yes, I am powerful,” she says. “I’m more powerful than my mind can even digest and understand.”