Beyoncé’s 20-year reign in pop music has included more than a handful of uplifting anthems — hello, “Single Ladies”! — but it definitely comes as a surprise to learn that “Bootylicious,” her 2001 chart-topping hit as a member of R&B group Destiny’s Child, was actually a tune about body positivity in reaction to haters in the media.
Debuting one of many covers for “The Icon Issue” of Harper’s Bazaar, King Bey made the revelation in what might be one of her most candid interviews to date. Throughout the editorial she gives deep introspect into the values she learned in her 20s, 30s and how she views life as she approaches turning 40 in a few weeks. However, it was the “Bootylicious” fun fact that she experienced at the age of 19 that peaked the interest of many.
Here’s what Beyoncé says of turning criticism into creativity as a teenager, via Harper’s Bazaar:
“My father constantly encouraged me to write my own songs and create my own vision. He is the reason I wrote and produced at such a young age. I remember when I started hearing people criticize me after I had put on some weight. 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.”
The full interview is truly an eye-opener into the life and career for one of the Black community’s greatest entertainers of all time. Read the full piece and the breathtaking images over at Harper’s Bazaar. In the meantime, reminisce on her DC3 number one Billboard Hot 100 single “Bootylicious” below:
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