After more than two decades in the spotlight, Beyoncé has become much more than a pop icon. She’s a cultural force who has routinely defied expectations and transformed the way we understand the power of art to change how we see ourselves and each other. But at 40, she feels like she’s just scratched the surface.
INTRODUCTION BY KAITLYN GREENIDGE. PHOTOGRAPHS BY CAMPBELL ADDY. STYLING BY SAMIRA NASR AND MARNI SENOFONTE.
Tell us about your community. How have the women in your life influenced you?
My closest friends are brilliant women who run companies, are entrepreneurs, mothers, wives, and close family. Kelly [Rowland]and Michelle [Williams] are still my best friends. I gravitate toward strong, grounded women like my incredible sister, Solange. She is full of wisdom, and she is the dopest person I know.
There is power in community, and I saw that growing up the daughter of a salon owner. My first introduction to beautiful women was curvy, Texas-bred, bean-and-cornbread-fed goddesses. I was exposed to so many entrepreneurial women that I admired. Doctors, business owners, artists, teachers, mothers—they all came through my mom’s salon. I saw firsthand how a salon can be a sanctuary for women. I vividly remember one client who was an opera singer. She was this regal Black woman who had traveled all around the world and would tell these incredible stories. I’d love to hear about her travels and decided one day I would travel around the world too.
I watched my mother nurture and heal those women in her salon, not just by making them look and feel beautiful but by talking with them, listening to them, and connecting with them. I’ve seen how much Black women’s emotions are attached to our hair and beauty. The beauty industry does not always understand these emotions and what we need. I want to build a community where women of all races can communicate and share some of those secrets, so we can continue to support and take care of each other. I want to give women a space to feel their own strength and tell their stories. That is power.