In this edition of Look-At-Me-Bey getting “deep and stuff” for the press… King Beybootylicious and BFFs Kelly Rowland and Gwyneth Paltrow talk to VOGUE about her greatest fears and anxieties, the wonders of Blue Ivy and how she tackles challenges and handles haters at the same dayumm time!
We’ve got lots of pictures and quotes via Vogue:
Beyoncé’s latest solo album, which Beyoncé, ever the perfectionist, is still tinkering with at this moment. “I’m going to be tweaking,” she says, smiling. “I still have things to figure out.”
It is a return to the spotlight that feels less like a cautious reentry than a fusillade of shock and awe. Beyoncé will be in your life like she’s never been before, her music and visage and essence practically dropping down the chimney and seeping up through the floorboards. The scrutiny will be intense, and Beyoncé admits she is still capable of anxiety—those feelings never go away. “I’m still completely nervous,” she says. “I still feel pressure.”
Bey, nervous? No way! How can she possibly be nervous when she has a publicist who will go to any length to sweep any unflattering photo or spin any mistake into another moment of perfection?
Hit the flip for more.
Bey Bey on her Mother Daughter Bond With Blue Ivy:
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.”
In the past, Beyoncé has been guarded about details of her personal life, but motherhood appears to be a subject too powerful for her to completely hold in. It’s impossible to say this without sounding like the host of a cheesy daytime TV show, but the joy just radiates from her. Her happiness is undeniable, and for a woman of discretion, she doesn’t try to be discreet.
“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.”
Say it with us… Awwwwwwwwwww. The PRECIOUSNESS! It’s so undeniable.
At the hospital her fears vanished. “My family and my closest people were there when I gave birth,” she says. “Everything that scared me just was not present in that room. So for me to really let go and really appreciate every contraction . . . it was the best day of my life.”
Rowland says that Beyoncé has “always had that motherly instinct . . . ever since we were kids.” And there is a sense that with Blue, Beyoncé is slipping into a natural, comfortable role. Days are now oriented around her new family, and though it’s hard to imagine the Beyoncé/Jay-Z household resembling the frantic home of exhausted first-time parents—the crib-side renditions of “Itsy Bitsy Spider” must be amazing, however—she says there’s a clear focus. “I feel like I have something that has grounded me so much more,” she says. “Family has always been important. I’ve always had my mother and my father and my husband. But it’s just. . . .” She pauses. “Life is so much more than. . . It’s not defined by any of this.”
It’s funny because the way Bey talks about Blue Ivy kinda reminds us of the way that Rihanna talks about Breezy — like nothing else really matters cuz she got her boo!
On Her Artistic Process:
Beyoncé recorded much of her upcoming album (which she compares to a blend of her last album, 4, and 2008’s I Am . . . Sasha Fierce) this past summer in New York’s Hamptons, where collaborators included Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, and The-Dream, and the vibe was beachy and relaxed. “We had dinners with the producers every day, like a family,” she says. “It was like a camp. Weekends off. You could go and jump in the pool and ride bikes . . . the ocean and grass and sunshine. . . . It was really a safe place.”
She has found an equilibrium. Beyoncé’s close friend Gwyneth Paltrow relates a story of going to visit her in the recording studio and encountering mother with daughter.
“Blue was sleeping in her arms, across her body, and B was listening back to what she had been working on,” Paltrow says. “I thought, This is how you do it. You do what you love with who you love included.”
There’s one change in the musical life of Beyoncé, Paltrow notes. When Blue’s in the studio, they turn down the volume.
Okay, so what they’re trying to say is Bey isn’t some kind of Illuminati weirdo roasting shrunken heads over the campfire — she’s like totally human and stuff…
On The Documentary And Mathew Knowles:
A couple of weeks after the Super Bowl madness, Beyoncé will admit the public—or at least the HBO-buying members of the public—into her world in a manner she’s never done before, through Life Is But a Dream. “My story has never been told—no one really knows who I am,” she says, a comment that may distress the authors of the nine unauthorized Beyoncé biographies I found for sale on Amazon.
Beyoncé, of course, lives her life before cameras—not just the unsolicited paparazzi ones, but her own videographers, who chronicle everything from mundane meetings with producers to family birthday parties. And so Life Is But a Dream unfurls less like a traditional documentary and more like a tastefully appointed home movie. There are monologues featuring Beyoncé in her bed, without makeup, talking into her laptop. There are glimpses of private helicopters, jets, a balcony suite at the Ritz Paris. There’s cute footage of a bathing-suit-clad Beyoncé frolicking with her husband aboard a yacht and at a dinner in Croatia, where the pair perform a duet of Coldplay’s “Yellow.” While there is plenty of singing and dancing, Life Is But a Dream also visits moments of heartbreak. One story line that shapes the film is Beyoncé’s difficult 2011 decision to split with her father, Mathew Knowles, as her business manager. At first she is desolate—“My soul has been tarnished,” she declares—but later, as she asserts her independence and confronts the petty squabbles of the business, she comes around to appreciating her father’s hand. “My father taught me so much about being a businesswoman,” she says. “And I’m understanding him a lot now. . . . A lot of the crazy things he did were necessary.”
Riiiiiight… Like making Farrah tan so she’d be darker and changing Tenitra’s name to Michelle?
Beyoncé says she found the filmmaking process therapeutic. “This movie has healed me in so many ways,” she says. “It makes me want to cry.
“I’m sorry,” she says, her eyes welling. “I’m very passionate about it, and it just feels good.”
Life Is But a Dream does attempt to set portions of the Beyoncé record straight. At one point it addresses—and debunks—the peculiar rumors that Beyoncé was faking her pregnancy and was instead secretly using a surrogate. Today, the gossip bewilders her more than it angers her. “That was very odd,” Beyoncé says now. “Who even thinks that? Like, who would make that up. . . . You can’t take it too seriously.”
Beyoncé’s mother, Tina Knowles, who calls the pregnancy rumors “the most ridiculous thing in the world,” admits she has a harder time letting gossip slide. “It’s tough as a mother because people say all this crazy stuff . . . and I want to say, ‘You should tell them’ sometimes. She’ll say, ‘Mom, I don’t owe them that. Let them say what they want to say.’ ”
“I have to calm her down,” Beyoncé says of her mother.
Mama Tina definitely be having them looks like she dare a muhfugga to say something.
On Keeping Private And Not Reading Mean Comments:
She doesn’t overshare. Beyoncé has nearly seven million Twitter followers—and as of mid-January, four tweets.
Here she credits her husband, another entrepreneurial superstar who has proved to be disciplined at navigating celebrity. “Just knowing someone’s always going to be honest and tell the truth,” she says of Jay-Z, “[who] can understand exactly what I’m going through—and I can understand exactly what he’s going through.”
They have figured something out. If you spend time in New York, there’s a chance you will encounter Mr. and Mrs. Carter. There they are, courtside at the new billion-dollar home of the Brooklyn Nets, in which Jay-Z is a stakeholder. There they are shopping for last-minute Christmas gifts at Bergdorf Goodman. There they are in my Brooklyn neighborhood, dining à deux at a tiny, bring-your-own-wine pizzeria, doting on the baby of a young couple sitting nearby. It is a rare accomplishment: a private life successfully lived in public.
But Beyoncé cannot insulate herself from every crazy and idle rumor. When she encounters a story about herself on the Internet, she reads only the story. She stops there. She doesn’t let herself scroll down into the comments sections, which have a tendency to become cruel, ad hominem free-for-alls.
“Don’t scroll down!” Beyoncé advises, laughing. “You’re definitely going to get your feelings hurt.”
Ain’t that the truth! Ya hear that y’all? Bet it ain’t gonna stop ya anyway tho!
On Self-Confidence And Being Empowered:
She will tour, later in the year. She will be cautious with her performing schedule, making sure to take time off with Blue to go to museums and restaurants and “expose my family to beautiful things.” But she is excited to get back onstage. She cannot wait.
“When she is working onstage, she has more power than any woman I’ve ever seen,” says Paltrow. “She would never say it and has never said it, but I feel she knows with every fiber of her being that she is the best in the world at her job.”
There’s still an obsessiveness about detail in Beyoncé’s artistic life. In her studio are elaborate “vision boards” to stimulate her creative process—photographs, writings, reminders of past achievements. There’s the cover of her 2003 album Dangerously in Love. There are photos of her Grammy performances with Prince and Tina Turner. Song concepts. Potential titles. “There’s so much stuff up there,” she says. “It kind of feels right now like A Beautiful Mind.”
Beyoncé says her new music “is a lot more sensual . . . empowering.” It celebrates being a wife and a mother, reflecting the obvious changes in her life. “Right now, after giving birth, I really understand the power of my body,” she says. “I just feel my body means something completely different. I feel a lot more confident about it. Even being heavier, thinner, whatever. I feel a lot more like a woman. More feminine, more sensual. And no shame.”
Mmmmmhmmm we pretty much knew she was through with shame after she did those GQ flicks.
On Having More Kids And Doing What She Wants:
She jokes that next time she might make a country album. Maybe a jazz album. She talks about wanting more children. “When I was younger, there were moments where I said, ‘I’m not going to have children,’ ” Beyoncé says. “And then moments when I wanted four. And now I definitely want another, but I don’t know when.”
What will happen will happen, she says. But there’s a sense that Beyoncé won’t let her life get relentless, that she will pull back now and again, not immerse herself in the way she once immersed herself. “At some point it’s very important to me that my daughter is able to experience life and run through the sprinklers and have slumber parties and trust and live and do all the things that any child should be able to do,” she says.
Girl Scouts? Lemonade stands? School visits? Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Carter are here for their parent-teacher conference. . . .
“Absolutely,” she says. “School visits and lemonade stands and all that stuff. It’s very important for me.”
Beyoncé refers to the sacrifices she made when she was young, the thousands upon thousands of hours of spent practicing and performing and accruing success and goodwill. She believes she has earned some latitude, the ability to occasionally step away and let go. “I don’t feel like I have to please anyone,” she says. “I feel free. I feel like I’m an adult. I’m grown. I can do what I want. I can say what I want. I can retire if I want. That’s why I’ve worked hard.”
Can she start with some real actual photos of Blue Ivy? No more fuzzy jawns or shots of the back of her head please!
Photo Credit:Patrick Demarchelier