In the article, Queen Bey recalls the endless dieting she underwent to try and conform to the beauty ideals she was presented with. “I remember when I started hearing people criticise me after I had put on some weight,” she said. “I was 19. None of the sample clothes fit me. I was feeling a bit insecure from hearing some of the comments, and I woke up one day and refused to feel sorry for myself, so I wrote ‘Bootylicious.’ It was the beginning of me using whatever life handed me and turning it into something empowering to other women and men who were struggling with the same thing.”
As well as that, Beyoncé struggled with insomnia and relentless touring schedules. “Years of wear and tear on my muscles from dancing in heels. The stress on my hair and skin, from spray and dyes to the heat of a curling iron and wearing heavy makeup while sweating on stage. I’ve picked up many secrets and techniques over the years to look my best for every show. But I know that to give the best of me, I have to take care of myself and listen to my body.”
That revelation has led Bey to ditch diet culture in favour of full mental health. While it seems no one is immune to the pressures society places on women to present a certain way, Beyoncé is speaking out against diet culture and these unrealistic beauty ideals. “In the past, I spent too much time on diets, with the misconception that self-care meant exercising and being overly conscious of my body,” she said. “My health, the way I feel when I wake up in the morning, my peace of mind, the number of times I smile, what I’m feeding my mind and my body - those are the things that I’ve been focusing on. Mental health is self-care too. I’m learning to break the cycle of poor health and neglect, focusing my energy on my body and taking note of the subtle signs that it gives me.”
It’s a powerful message and Bey is particularly proud of championing given that she is setting an example for her own children. “I’m so happy that my daughters will have the example of those rituals from me,” she added.