See Beyoncé’s History-Making Vogue Cover – The First Shot By A Black Photographer

Beyoncé X Vogue September 2018
Photo Credit: Tyler Mitchell

For the past two decades, Beyoncé has made ‘go big or go home’ her unofficial motto.  From her consistently ground-breaking concerts and performances to celebrating Black girl magic, hair and positive body images, she continues to leave an indelible mark that soars beyond the world of entertainment. 

[SEE ALSO: #Beychella: Beyoncé Ruled Coachella In Egyptian & HBCU-Inspired Looks]

Her new cover spread for Vogue’s September 2018 issue is no exception. She made headlines last week amidst rumors that she had “unprecedented control” over the feature. This includes hiring Tyler Mitchell, the 23-year-old phenom who is now in the history books as first-ever Black photographer to lens the cover in its 126 years of publication.

Beyoncé X Vogue September 2018
Photo Credit: Tyler Mitchell

When I first started, 21 years ago, I was told that it was hard for me to get onto covers of magazines because black people did not sell. Clearly that has been proven a myth.

Not only is an African American on the cover of the most important month for Vogue, this is the first ever Vogue cover shot by an African American photographer.
It’s important to me that I help open doors for younger artists. 

Beyonce x Vogue
Photo Credit: Tyler Mitchell

For the cover spread, she ditches the weaves, rocking her waist length tresses in brushed back ponytails, floral headdresses and straight-back cornrows paired with minimal makeup and maximum fashion flair.

As has become her modus operandi, she forgoes the standard Q&A interview. Instead, she sits with writer Clover Hope to tell her story of giving birth to her, getting post-baby body ready and loving the skin she’s in on her own terms and in her own voice.

During my recovery, I gave myself self-love and self-care, and I embraced being curvier. I accepted what my body wanted to be. After six months, I started preparing for Coachella. I became vegan temporarily, gave up coffee, alcohol, and all fruit drinks. But I was patient with myself and enjoyed my fuller curves. My kids and husband did, too.

I think it’s important for women and men to see and appreciate the beauty in their natural bodies. That’s why I stripped away the wigs and hair extensions and used little makeup for this shoot.

Beyoncé X Vogue September 2018
Photo Credit: Tyler Mitchell

She also touches on the pain of her ancestral heritage, the inspiration behind what has singularly become known as #Beychella, tour with husband, Jay-Z and the legacy she hopes to leave behind.

As the mother of two girls, it’s important to me that they see themselves too—in books, films, and on runways. It’s important to me that they see themselves as CEOs, as bosses, and that they know they can write the script for their own lives—that they can speak their minds and they have no ceiling. They don’t have to be a certain type or fit into a specific category. They don’t have to be politically correct, as long as they’re authentic, respectful, compassionate, and empathetic. They can explore any religion, fall in love with any race, and love who they want to love

Click through to see more images from the history-making spread.

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About The Author

Stephenetta (isis) Harmon

isis is digital media director for Hype Hair and founder/Black beauty director for Sadiaa Black Beauty guide, the top hair and beauty directory for women of color.