Gracing the September cover of Vogue, Beyoncé — who’ll be turning 37 next month — clearly shows the authentic, confident and strong woman she’s grown into.
For Millennials, she’ll always be the brightest star of Destiny’s Child, complete with memories of matching camoflauge outfits and expertly choreographed numbers.
While the Formation star has clearly grown far beyond her girl band beginnings, her Zeitgeist-changing influence is all the more evident when viewed through the lens of younger generations.
For the teens and young college students of today, Beyoncé is the embodiment of her Queen Bey moniker: a musical powerhouse, a fashion icon, partner to one of the greatest musical game changers, mother, cultural trendsetter and not least, a barrier breaker. And in that last identity lies her strongest influence and power — a power the engulfs all other identities.
I am accepting of who I am. I will continue to explore every inch of my soul and every part of my artistry. I want to learn more, teach more, and live in full. — Beyoncé
Musing on her present life in Vogue’s September issue, the mother-of-three views her legacy in the lessons and examples she strives to pass down to her children — and by extension to countless other children and young people.
When it comes to raising her girls, for Beyoncé, it’s about being an example of happiness and worth found in oneself and in freedom, of girls being able to see themselves in any and all roles, regardless of race, size or orientation.
It’s about working towards a world where women and girls can happily and successfully be who they want to be — speaking and loving freely, and always in charge of their own lives.
“My mother taught me the importance not just of being seen but of seeing myself. As the mother of two girls, it’s important to me that they see themselves too – in books, films, and on runways,” she told Vogue.
But just as important are the lessons, values and love she passes down to her son. Especially the lesson of love — love of others, love of self and love of empathy. In a world that still enforces macho stereotypes for men, despite the epidemic of depression and suicide in male populations, Beyoncé sees her role as the mother of a boy and role model for other young men defined as a teacher.
A teacher of emotional intelligence, of how strength and masculinity do not exclude tenderness and sensitivity; of how the bravest thing a man or boy can do is define themselves free of stereotypes, gender conformism and societal pressures.
“I want the same things for my son. I want him to know that he can be strong and brave but he can also be sensitive and kind. I hope to teach my son not to fall victim to what the internet says he should be or how he should love,” she muses.