Beyoncé Recounts Struggles With Insomnia And Dieting As She Embraces Full Mental Health - Women's Health

Beyoncé Recounts Struggles With Insomnia And Dieting As She Embraces Full Mental Health

“In the past, I spent too much time on diets.”

by | Aug 12, 2021

Instagram/beyonce

You’d be hard-pressed to find any woman that hasn’t turned up the volume to full and danced around their bedroom to “Bootylicious”. The song has become an anthem for women around the world, a theme song for empowerment and a reminder to embrace and love the body you’re in, regardless of shape or size. The reality behind the song though is far different to the picture it portrays. In a recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Beyoncé revealed that it was written after she came face to face with the harsh beauty standards and ideals forced upon women’s bodies. At just 19-years-old and as part of the hugely successful Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé’s body was undergoing changes, becoming more shapely. But as she struggle to fit into designer sample sizes due to weight gain, she began to feel more and more insecure. 

“I think like many women, I have felt the pressure of being the backbone of my family and my company and didn’t realise how much that takes a toll on my mental and physical well-being,” the 39-year-old singer said. “I have not always made myself a priority.”

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. 

By Jessica Campbell

Jess is a storyteller committed to sharing the human stories that lie at the heart of sport.

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Thankfully, a number of brands are here to cater to your exercise needs with innovative materials, fabrics and sustainable options to see you through a summer of movement. Regardless of your workout preferences or daily activity, we’ve selected the best shorts that will ensure you feel good in your body, shorts that get you excited to embrace the day and attack it with energy, that make you want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, whether it be walking, running, or socialising in the park. Here are our pick of the best bike shorts below. 

Nagnata

Uptown Biker, $240

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All Access

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Nike

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Lululemon

Align High-Rise Short 6”, $69

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